FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

Background:

Since February 2020, the world is experiencing what is probably the worst health and economic crisis of modern history. The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the vulnerabilities of our societies and the need for radical review of our social and economic models. Central to this transformation will be the way we produce, process, distribute and consume food.
Starting in 2022, FAO is embarking on a new Strategic Framework that will guide its action in support to agri-food systems transformation in member countries. FAO’s Strategic Framework focuses on the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.
The four Betters represent an organizing principle for how FAO intends to support achievement of the SDG Agenda and encourage a strategic and systems-oriented approach. Twenty Programme Priority Areas (PPAs) will shape FAO action in supporting countries to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
In the Near East Region, the pre-COVID-19 situation of food security and sustainable agriculture was already critical in many ways, with some alarming trends that have only been exacerbated by the crisis: hunger was on the rise under the combined effects of crises, conflicts and natural extreme events; inequalities were growing, in particular between rural and urban populations; natural resources were degraded and water scarcity was worsening due to demographic pressure and climate change, and changes in dietary habits led to unprecedented levels of overweight and obesity and to the exacerbation of non-communicable diseases.
In line with the approach developed for FAO Strategic Framework, and considering regional specificities, four main priorities have been identified to transform the region’s agri-food systems, recover from the effects of the pandemic and contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. These four priorities focus on innovations and best practices for: (i) Reducing the economic divide between urban and rural livelihoods through better rural employment opportunities, in particular for the youth and for women; (ii) Ensuring healthy diets for all in an increasingly urbanised region; (iii) Restoring environmental balance, with a focus on water scarcity, natural resources and climate action; and (iv) Building resilience against multiple shocks. Just as the challenges and risks facing food security, nutrition and natural resources in the region are interrelated, priorities are also interdependent and interrelated, and they need to be addressed in an integrated manner.

Agenda:

Day 1: Tuesday 13 July 2021 - SETTING THE STAGE
•       Opening
•       FAO new Strategic Framework: View from a regional perspective
•       COVID-19 IMPACT AND RESPONSE IN THE NENA REGION AND IMPLICATIONS FOR AGRI-FOOD SYSTEMS
•       TOWARDS THE FOOD SYSTEMS SUMMIT
•       Close

Day 2: Wednesday 14 July 2021 -  RURAL TRANSFORMATION AND RESILIENCE
•       Welcome
•       Priority 1: Rural transformation for youth employment and income
•       Priority 4: Building resilience to multiple shocks
•       Findings from the regional private sector dialogue

Day 3: Thursday 15 July 2021 - TOWARDS GREENER AND HEALTHIER FOOD SYSTEMS
•       Welcome
•       Priority 2: Transforming agri-food systems to promote healthy diets for all
•       Priority 3: Greening agriculture: towards sustainable recovery and climate change action
•       Next steps and closing

Registration link: https://fao.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwvd-6ppjMjGNwtka1gMxRb3TuuWbwpxL8n 

Languages: Interpretation will be provided in Arabic, English and French.