FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

Regional Network on nutrition-sensitive food system


Poor diets are the main contributor to the global burden of disease, accounting for 20 percent of premature disease-mediated mortality. Approximately 3 billion people cannot afford a healthy diet, and more than 3 billion people suffer one or more manifestations of poor nutrition. A healthy diet is the foundation for good nutrition, human health and well-being. Profound changes needed in production systems and consumption patterns to combat nutrition problems and ensure that healthy diets are available, affordable and accessible for all.


Transformation of agriculture production system will require science-based solutions to support decisive and effective policies, well-targeted investment and use of science to guide practice. Agriculture production that supports and promotes healthy diets, will need a multi-level, multi-actor, multisector and multidisciplinary approach that brings agriculture, environment, natural resources, food, health, trade, economics, rural development agenda together.


FAO Regional Offices for Near East and North Africa (RNE), Asia and the Pacific (RAP) and Africa (RAF) is jointly organizing a high level virtual event on “Sharing experiences between Asia, Africa and the Near East: Harnessing local agriculture production system for healthy diets”.


The meeting will take place virtually on 31 March (10.00-13.00 Cairo time) and it is expected to have eminent speakers representing science and research communities, high level global and regional representatives of inter-governmental bodies, senior government officials to share and learn on science-based solutions, innovation and technology, policies and investment to ensure access to affordable, safe and nutritious diets for all.


Opening remarks

  • QU Dongyu
    Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Keynote speaker

  • Dr Mahmoud El Solh
    Member of Steering Committee, High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE), CFS (Former DG, ICARDA)


  • Dr Shakuntala Thilsted
    Global Lead, Nutrition and Public Health, Aquatic Food Systems, World Fish Center (Member of Steering Committee, HLPE, CFS; Vice Chair, UN Food Systems Summit 2021: Action Track 4: Advance Equitable Livelihoods)
  • Dr Yemi Akinbamijo
  • Prof. Kadambot Siddique
    Hackett Professor of Agriculture, Chair and Director, University of Western Australia; FAO Special Ambassador on International Year of Pulses
  • Dr Aly Abousabaa
    Director-General, ICARDA
  • His Excellency, Thanawan Tiensin
    Chair of CFS (Permanent Representative of Royal Government of Thailand to UN and Food Systems Summit Champion)
  • Her Excellency, Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Al Mheiri,

Minister of State for Food and Water Security, United Arab Emirates

  • Dr Ferdinal M. Fernando,

Assistant Director, Head of Health Division, ASEAN Human Development Directorate, ASEAN Secretariat

  • Dr Fati N’zi,

Head of Human Capital and Institutions Development, NEPAD/AUDA


  • Dr Ismahane Elouafi
    Chief Scientist, FAO
  • Dr Máximo Torero
    Chief Economist, FAO

Please register here: https://fao.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Y8RNqktMTHKW7exrks03ew


Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in Arabic, Chinese, English and French for this event.