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FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO and WFP reaffirm their commitement to working for Zero Hunger in the Middle East

©FAO/Mariam Hamed -- The partnership underlines the agencies’ commitment to working together with UN member states towards the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger by 2030.

17 October 2017, Cairo – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) today signed a partnership agreement to solidify joint efforts to combat hunger in the Middle East.

This accord comes at a time when hunger and undernutrition are on the rise again, affecting more than 30 million people across the region. The situation is being made worse by conflict, socio-economic and climatic shocks, affecting production and access to key resources.

Together, FAO and WFP can draw on decades of expertise in the Middle East, working on improving the lives and livelihoods of millions of vulnerable people. For example, through a joint programme in Syria, FAO and WFP have enabled thousands of wheat farmers to restore their livelihoods and grow their own crops.

“This partnership between FAO and WFP is especially important in this area, considering that agriculture contributes almost 40 percent of the region’s jobs and income,” said Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, FAO Assistant Director and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa. “By pooling their expertise and resources, FAO and WFP can help people gain better access to secure food sources, improve their agricultural practices, and be better equipped to cope with conflict and crisis.”

The partnership underlines the agencies’ commitment to working together with UN member states towards the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger by 2030: this seeks to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

“FAO and WFP have always worked hand in hand, but the rapid decline in food security over the last decade in the region requires a renewed and stronger commitment to work together to save lives and support the livelihoods of affected people across the region,” said Carlo Scaramella, WFP Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. “This partnership will target key areas such as food systems, nutrition, social protection and resilience, and help countries become more resilient to continuing crisis caused by a combination of conflict, economic shocks and changing weather patterns brought on by global warming.”

FAO and WFP will also work together to address issues related to gender, youth, urbanization and humanitarian responses. Incountries currently facing emergencies, such as Yemen, Syria and Iraq, FAO and WFP will intensify efforts to assist affected communities through emergency response and livelihoods programmes for people in rural and conflict-affected regions.

Building on its longstanding relationships with ministries of agriculture in the region, FAO engages with national ministries to strengthen capacity in data collection and analysis, to improve livelihoods and build the resilience of millions of small-scale farmers and rural communities.

With its massive operational footprint in the region, WFP works with governments and a range of partners to deliver food and nutrition support to millions of vulnerable people affected by shocks and crisis, while also working to strengthen national safety nets and build the resilience of the most vulnerable communities.

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About WFP
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

About FAO
FAO leads international efforts to defeat hunger.  FAO assists developing countries and countries in transition to modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. FAO focuses special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world's poor and hungry people.


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