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FAO NENA Ambassador for Zero Hunger Visits Project on Nutrition and Food Security in Egypt’s Beni Sueif Governorate

A project aims at Improving Household Food and Nutrition Security, by targeting Women and Youth

Darine El-Khatib, FAO Special Goodwill Ambassador for Zero Hunger for the NENA region, speaking with local farmers from the JFFLS in Beni Sueif

13 September 2017,   Beni-Sueif -   Darine El-Khatib, the   Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) Special Goodwill Ambassador for   Zero Hunger for the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region, led a visit   today with a FAO delegation to overlook the results of an on-ground project   in Beni Sueif focusing on food and nutrition security in Egypt.

El-Khatib and Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, FAO Assistant Director-General and   Regional Representative for the NENA region, along with other FAO officials,   visited the project titled "Improving Household Food and Nutrition Security   in Egypt, by targeting Women and Youth" in Beni Sueif, where they overlooked   its implementation and impact.

The project, which launched in December 2012 in the Upper Egyptian   governorates of Assiut, Aswan, Beni Sueif, Fayoum and Sohag, focused on   nutrition and health awareness and homestead food production and   income-generating activities, as well as improving household food and   nutrition security.

"Hunger and nutrition are two key deterrents of development in the NENA   region that need our attention and hard work," El-Khatib said during the   visit. "This project is an example of the successful work FAO implements, and   I look forward to working on more similar and fruitful projects to create a   world free of hunger and malnutrition."

Ould Ahmed was also optimistic about the project.

"We are very pleased with the impact of this project and we can see that   it has affected more than 2,700 women and youth," he said. "With our new Zero   Hunger Goodwill Ambassador, we now have the opportunity of raising more   awareness of such success and spreading our vision to greater lengths."

Nutrition and health awareness

The project has succeeded in establishing 15 Community Nutrition Kitchens   – three in each of the five governorates – in which women are taught healthy   and nutritious food preparation, storage and preservation techniques.

Homestead food production and income-generating activities

Another 15 Junior Farm Field and Life Schools (JFFLS) have been created   in the five governorates, where nutrient-dense crops have been introduced to   female farmers.

The project has established a total of 10 Processing Schools – two in   each of the five governorates – to provide women with hands-on knowledge of   home-processing techniques and food safety, as well as healthy diets using   fruits and vegetables harvested from local fields or grown in landless   micro-gardens.

In addition, seven Community Model Gardens are now operating to teach   women how to produce higher-income-generating plants, in addition to   increasing food diversity and nutritional value while reducing their   families' reliance on food that is bought in local markets.

The project has provided funds to almost 175 female-led projects in three   governorates, in addition to offering technical training and nutritional   education.

Project impact

Overall, the project has offered more food diversity and healthier diets   for families while also providing nutritionally secured households. Women and   youth in the five governorates are now more empowered with knowledge and   skills in nutrition, farming, and livestock, as well as business and   marketing, which has led to improved productivity and livelihood.

Hunger and nutrition in Egypt

Egypt has succeeded in increasing its food supply at the national level,   but the country has fared less successful in addressing malnutrition, which   remains one of the main challenges in need of development. In fact, the   country faces a "triple burden" of malnutrition, with malnutrition accounting   for 35 percent of the disease burden in children younger than the age of   five, as well as the coexistence of both forms of malnutrition, over- and   under-nutrition, with micronutrient deficiencies.

Egypt remains a focus country with regards to FAO's regional initiative to build resilience for enhanced food security and nutrition. Furthermore, a Strategic Framework for Food Loss and Waste Reduction will be implemented.


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