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FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO, IOM and UN-Habitat Co-host a Regional Workshop on Strengthening Migration Governance across the Rural-Urban Continuum

©FAO/Mariam Hamed Hassanien - The three-day regional workshop aims at fostering policy dialogue within countries in the region to develop policies that address the adverse drivers of migration.

26 November 2019 Cairo / Egypt -- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa and UN-Habitat Regional Office of Arab States co-organized a Regional Workshop on Strengthening Migration Governance across the Rural-Urban Continuum.

Participants to the meeting included government representatives from Ministries of Agriculture, interior, social welfare, migration and local development, national experts from academia and civil society, and representatives from local authorities.

In the special context of the one-year anniversary of the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), various UN agencies also partook in the regional workshop to ensure collective reflection on vision-driven approaches to developing migration policies in order to achieve the objectives of GCM.

The three-day regional workshop aims at fostering policy dialogue within countries in the region to develop policies that address the adverse drivers of migration through sustainable and inclusive agriculture transformation.

In her opening remarks, IOM's Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Ms. Carmela Godeau highlighted that "Key to combatting displacement is to address its root causes by helping rural communities better prevent and prepare for disasters and other crises that might affect them, developing more resilient agricultural livelihood." She further shed light on IOM's involvement in urban-rural migration and humanitarian development nexus with UN-Habitat and FAO respectively.

"Migration must be a voluntary act, and not a forced last resort," FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa Mr. Abdessalam Ould Ahmed said at the event. "FAO is playing an active role in addressing migration in the region," he told over 60 delegates from the Near East and North Africa countries in a three-day meeting to discuss a joint proposal to tackle migration challenges in the region through a comprehensive development plan.

"In Iraq FAO is working with partners to rehabilitate agriculture infrastructure needed to reestablish national food production and support returnees. While our projects in Lebanon and Jordan are helping thousands of Syrian migrants and refugees participate in establishing agriculture livelihoods and contribute to local rural development," Ould Ahmed highlighted.

"The objective must be to make migration a choice, not a necessity, and to maximize the positive impacts while minimizing the negative ones," Ould Ahmed added.

Mr. Timothy McNair, Deputy Regional Director of UN-Habitat Regional Office of Arab States drew the audience's attention to the fact that the majority of migrants and displaced populations move to urban areas. "With increasing urbanization, greater mobility and connectivity, the linkages between urban, peri-urban and rural areas intensify and differences are disappearing". He then added "To achieve sustainable development that leaves no one and no place behind, integrated territorial development is key for balanced and inclusive urban and rural development."

The workshop focuses on various themes over the course of three days amongst them forced migration and displacement in rural areas, migration and rural development, climate and environmental migration. Furthermore, it provided a platform for countries representatives to highlight their best practices and the efforts deployed to enhance migration management to and from rural areas at the local level.

The workshop also is sheds the light on various challenges and opportunities of migration from a rural development perspective, as well as national and sub-national capacities to proactively address the link between migration, rural development, climate change and conflict.


26/11/2019

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