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FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO calls for increased responsible agriculture investment in the Near East and North Africa Region

Agriculture investment is key to achieve the SDGs.

9 May 2018, Rome – The Near East and North Africa (NENA) region is facing unprecedented challenges that are greatly affecting its countries’ capacity to sustainably increase food supplies and expand the contribution of the agricultural sector to poverty reduction and national economies.

Amidst these challenges are conflicts, water scarcity, climate change, rapid increase in population, need to create jobs for youth, increased demand for food production, and growing agricultural trade deficits.

In light of this need, FAO today organized a side event aiming at fostering agriculture and food investment in the region. The side event was organized on the sidelines of the 34th session of FAO’s Regional Conference for the Near East (NERC34).

The event shed light on the urgency of introducing public and private investment in food and agriculture within countries of the region to stimulate economic growth, fight rural poverty, eliminate hunger and reduce malnutrition, address migration challenges, and ultimately achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Discussions highlighted the important role of governments in promoting responsible agricultural investments and setting enabling policy, legal and regulatory frameworks that are conducive to private investment, to enhance countries’ competiveness.  

Support to sustainable investment in food and agriculture, is a core function of FAO and fully embedded in its vision of ending hunger and poverty. FAO provides technical assistance to member countries through four main pillars: support to the design of large public investments funded by partner organizations; facilitation of private investments through public-private sector dialogue; national agriculture investment planning; and capacity development.

FAO’s investment strategy  is multiplied by long standing partnerships with main international financial institutions and multilateral organizations such as the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the African Development Bank AFDB), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the European union (EU).

During the side event, FAO’s investment support activities and success stories globally and in the region were presented, with a particular emphasis on facilitating private sector investment in agriculture and country investment planning exercises with examples from Egypt, Oman, Tunisia, Morocco and Sudan. One such case study included the Promoting Sustainable Investment in Egypt’s Food Security high-level forum that was held in Cairo, Egypt in December 2017.

This week’s conference is attended by over 150 delegates, including 15 ministers, 30 FAO members from the region, as well as representatives of civil society, the private sector and other UN organizations.

Regional conferences are essential to ensure the effectiveness of the Organization's work in the field and play a critical role in defining regional priorities.


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