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FAO and League of Arab States create strategic alliance to end hunger in the Arab region

Programme will support efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 – a world with zero hunger

©FAO/ FAO's Abdessalam Ould Ahmed and League of Arab States's Nada Al Agizy sign a programme to solidify joint efforts to combat hunger and malnutrition in the Arab region.

17 December 2018, Cairo - The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the League of Arab States (LAS) today signed a USD500 000 Programme to solidify joint efforts to combat hunger and malnutrition in the Arab region.

The programme underlines both parties' commitment to working together with countries of the region towards the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger by 2030, which seeks to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

This accord comes at a time when hunger and malnutrition are on the rise again, affecting more than 40.2 million people across the region. The situation is made worse by conflict, socio-economic and climatic shocks, affecting production and access to key resources.

This rolls back the steady improvements made before 2010, when food production was up and undernourishment and its effects were down.

"As a result, efforts are needed now both to overcome the deterioration in the region's food and nutrition security and to build partnerships that can lead to higher resilience among countries in combating hunger in the years to come," said FAO's Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa, Abdessalam Ould Ahmed.

During the signing ceremony at FAO Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa in Cairo, Ould Ahmed described the agreement, which builds on the two parties' longstanding partnership, as a "milestone " that will help team effort to achieve zero hunger in the region.

Ould Ahmed also highlighted that food and agriculture are key to achieving the entire set of Sustainable Development Goals, not only the Second Goal.

"The 2030 Agenda's historic commitment can become a reality – if we work together. The interconnected Agenda means actors must collaborate and share knowledge." He added.

"Advancing Zero Hunger in terms of the agenda of the second Sustainable Development Goals receives strong support from the League of Arab States and the Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit," said Nada El Agizy, Sustainable Development and International Cooperation Director, League of Arab States.

"This support culminated in the establishment of the sub-committee of ending hunger in the Arab region," Al Agizy added.

Speaking at the ceremony Al Agizy highlighted that the partnership with FAO will strengthen advocacy and policy dialogue within and among the countries in the region and enhanced coordination of all parties involved, with the political support of the League of Arab States.

Working towards a common vision

The aim of the programme is to strengthen collaboration and coordination between Arab countries, support regional policy dialogue, benchmarking or diagnostic studies as part of the effort to develop strategies that can contribute to the region's sustained food and nutrition security, agricultural inclusive growth and socio economic development in the Arab region.

It will present an opportunity to the governments of the region to achieve food security, balanced nutrition and sustainable agriculture through collaborative efforts, and will set the pace to achieving related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS).

FAO and the League of Arab States share a common vision that achieving food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture requires a comprehensive and holistic approach, and they have been working on projects and policy areas towards ending hunger and all forms of malnutrition.

The Sustainable Development Goals were agreed by all 193 UN Member Countries in 2015, and 2030 was set as the deadline to achieve the 17 goals that cover social, economic and environmental issues.

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (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. 

League of Arab States
The League of Arab States was established in 1945 as a regional organization bringing together all Arab countries, with the purpose of promoting and strengthening cooperation among its members.


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