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FAO Regional Office for the Near East (RNE) was established in Cairo, Egypt on 29 November 1947. Its mission conforms with the mandate of the mother organization. The Regional Office is headed by the Assistant Director General/Regional Representative supported by International staff members to implement FAO's development strategies by providing assistance mainly through various activities and projects. These are usually carried out in cooperation with governments and other agencies in the 20 Member nations of the region; and they are:


Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.


They include experts in the various fields of agriculture, research and technology, land and water, plant production and protection, animal production and health, agro-industry, range management, forestry, nutrition, agricultural marketing, agricultural planning, extension, training and education, Knowledge Management, communication and women in development.


The overall objective of the Regional Office for the Near East stems from the objectives of FAO. The principal function of the Regional Office for Near East is the overall identification, planning and implementation of FAO's priority activities in the Region. It ensures a multi disciplinary approach to programmes; identify priority areas of action for the Organization in the Region and, in collaboration with departments and divisions at headquarters, advise on the incorporation of such priorities into the Organization's Programme of Work and Budget; implement approved programmes in the Region; and monitor the level of programme implementation and draw attention to any deficiencies. 


FAO continues to focus special attention on fighting poverty and hunger through promoting sustainable agricultural and rural development; raising levels of  nutrition; achieving food security for all and ensuring regular access to adequate high-quality food for a more healthy and effective life.


The organizations priorities in the Near East region include promoting food security, livelihoods and sustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries; encouraging sustainable competitive agriculture through enhanced productivity, quality and access to markets; promoting sustainable utilization, conservation and management of natural resources in the context of climate change; and improving preparedness for, and effective response to, food and agricultural threats and emergencies. The aim of this is to provide the needs of the present and coming generations through implementing appropriate technical, economic and social development programmes, which should not also be harmful to the environment.


The Regional Office plays a particularly active role in promoting South - South cooperation between the countries of the region; in this connection, it organizes Workshops, Seminars, etc. at regional and/or Sub-regional levels; it also serves as a secretariat for some intergovernmental regional bodies such as FAO's specialized Regional Commissions, etc...


RNE also attends most of the meetings that are organized in the region and that fall within the Organization's mandate; accordingly, RNE advises FAO Headquarters on the related matters.


The Regional Office is a driving force for the development stage. It provides a forum for its Member States to agree on, discuss and resolve shared problems and it plays a dynamic role in agricultural and rural development in the Region.

The following are the Regional Representatives since FAO-RNE's establishment.




S. A. AlOtaibi

Saudi Arabia 

January 2010 - Now 

M. I. Albraithen

Saudi Arabia 

February 2003 - March 2009

A. Y. Bukhari

Saudi Arabia 

April 1990 - June 2002

S. Jum'a


August 1978 - December 1989 

M.A. Nour


October 1970 - July 1978 

A.R. Sidky


November 1957 - September 1970 

M. T. Hefnawy


April 1947 - September 1957 

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