FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

IFPRI-FAO Report Launch
"Food Policies and their Implications on Overweight and Obesity Trends in Selected Countries in the Near East and North Africa Region"
Date: 17 December, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM (CLT)

The COVID-19 pandemic is an important reminder and rationale for investing in sustainable and healthy food systems. Several evolving studies show that obesity is an important risk factor for COVID-19 complications. The Near East and North Africa (NENA) region countries are known for high levels of overweight and obesity. Most predictions suggest that the rates of overweight and obesity have been increasing and are expected to reach alarming rates in the next few decades; there are several explanations that justify why.

In light of this, IFPRI and FAO are launching their collaborative study "Food Policies and their Implications on Overweight and Obesity Trends in Selected Countries in the Near East and North Africa Region" on 17 December 2020.

This high-level event aims to shed light on the latest trends and distinct patterns of overweight and obesity across the region, with a focus on the role of trade and food policies, including trade regimes and government food subsidies. IFPRI and FAO will share findings from their joint study that aims at examining the role of food (trade) policies in explaining the increasingly high rates of overweight and obesity in the NENA region.

The panel discussions are expected to share study results and highlight potential ideas for addressing the increasing obesity epidemic in the region, while also identifying the role of different stakeholders such as policymakers, private sectors, research and academe, farmers organizations, and international development partners. Meanwhile, the dialogue will also help identify key policy gaps that require further research.

AGENDA

 

11:00 – 11:15 am
(15 mins)

Opening Session

    • Mr. Serge Nakouzi, Deputy Regional Representative, FAO (RNE)
    • Dr. Johan Swinnen, Director-General, IIFPRI
    • Dr. Maximo Torero, Chief Economist, FAO

Moderator

Dr. Clemens Breisinger, MENA and Egypt Program Leader and Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI

11:15 – 11:30 am
(15 mins)

Highlights from the Joint Study

    • Dr. Kibrom Abay, Research Fellow and Study Team Leader, IFPRI
 

11:30 am – 12:00 pm
(30 mins)

Panel Discussion

    • Dr. Ibrahim Ashmawy, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade, Egypt
    • Dr. Abdelkader Ait El Mekki, Professor of Agricultural Economics, Head of Department of Rural Economics, National School of Agriculture, Morocco
    • Mr. Emad Qaiss Sliwah, Senior Agronomist, Ministry of Agriculture, Iraq
    • Dr. Habiba Ali, Chairperson and Dietetics Program Coordinator, Department of Nutrition and Health, United Arab Emirates
    • Eng. Saleh Al Shanfari, CEO, Food Investment Company, Oman

Moderator

Dr. Olivier Ecker, Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI

 

12:00 – 12:25 pm
(25 mins)

Open discussion and Q&A with participants

    • Dr. Gihan Fouad, Director of National Nutrition Institute, Egypt
    • Dr. Sherine Al-Shawarby, Professor of Economics, Cairo University
    • Dr. Farah Naja, Associated Professor, University of Sharjah, UAE, and the American University of Beirut, Lebanon
    • Ms. Fatema AlMulla, Senior Research Analyst, Food and Water Security Office, UAE
    • Dr. Ayoub Al-Jawaldeh, Regional Nutrition Advisor, WHO EMRO
 

Moderators

Ms. Nomindelger, BayasgalanbatNutrition and Food System Officer, FAO (RNE)

12:25 - 12:30 pm
(5 mins)

Closing Remarks and Way Forward

    • Mr. Jean-Marc Faurès, Regional Programme Leader, FAO (RNE)
    • Dr. Clemens Breisinger, MENA and Egypt Program Leader and Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI