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FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

A Journey towards NENA Zero Hunger Begins in Egypt

Darine El-Khatib, FAO’s Special Goodwill Ambassador for Zero Hunger for NENA region, visits Egypt

Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa (NENA), receiving Darine El-Khatib, FAO Special Goodwill Ambassador for Zero Hunger in the NENA Regional Office.

12 September 2017,  Cairo -  Darine El-Khatib, FAO's Special Goodwill Ambassador for Zero Hunger for   the Near East and North Africa (NENA), arrived today in Egypt to start her   journey of promoting a better understanding of FAO's vision of a world free   of hunger and malnutrition.

El-Khatib is a Lebanese journalist and a dedicated advocate of the Zero   Hunger challenge in the NENA region. In March 2017, she joined forces with   FAO to help raise awareness of the increasing difficulties of achieving food   security for all in a region affected by conflict, water scarcity and climate change.

Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, FAO Assistant Director-General and NENA Regional   Representative, received El-Khatib in the FAO Regional Office premises in   Cairo, where they discussed the alarming situation in the NENA region and   FAO's programmes that assist member countries in overcoming their challenges.

Ould Ahmed praised El-Khatib's dedication and endeavors to raise public   awareness on the food insecurity situation in the region, and he applauded   the campaign she launched two years ago to encourage the NENA audience and   youth to play a part in the global effort to end hunger and fight food waste and malnutrition.

"I am honored to be a part of FAO's journey to fight hunger and   malnutrition," said El-Khatib.  "I am   confident that together we can make a difference in the world and reach Zero Hunger by 2030."

Achieving a world of zero hunger by 2030 is one of the Sustainable   Development Goals (SDG 2) developed and agreed upon by the international   community, and it is at the heart of FAO's work. FAO works closely with   governments and regional partners to mainstream food security, nutrition and sustainable   agriculture in public policies and programmes.

NENA and the Zero Hunger challenge by 2030

FAO's most recent estimates indicate that food security and nutrition   levels in the region have sharply deteriorated over the last five years,   undermining the steady improvements achieved before 2010. Nearly 16.5 million   persons in the region were hungry in 1990. By the end of 2015, the number of   undernourished persons had doubled to around 33 million.

The social, economic, demographic and political changes that the region   has undergone in the last three decades have greatly influenced the nature,   scope and magnitude of health and nutrition problems. Many NENA countries   have figured on lists of countries with the highest rates of obesity in the   world. However, many others figure among those countries with the highest   incidence of stunting among children.

FAO works with its member countries to help improve and protect food systems, ensure better nutrition and healthy consumption and adapt agricultural practices to a changing climate in order to feed a growing world population. 


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