FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

Regional Priorities

There is a growing divide between the conditions of living in the region’s urban and rural areas. Investing in rural areas, creating opportunities and reducing the imbalance between urban and rural areas can be a driver for rural economic growth, for increasing production of healthy food, for feeding cities and for managing resources more effectively and sustainably.

Many of the region’s food systems are neither healthy nor are they sustainable. Building healthy food systems at local, national and regional levels will improve the region’s health, reduce the economic risks of a growing dependence on food imports, will enable the region to cope with continuing population growth and the growing impact of climate change in ways that does not lead to further deterioration of the region’s fragile natural resources even further.

Agriculture is the biggest user of the region’s increasingly scarce natural resources and fuels land and water degradation and biodiversity loss. With the adoption of innovative technologies, smart investments and supportive policy frameworks, it could however, become an engine of positive change, minimizing losses through the adoption of innovative and efficient production systems, energy-efficient processing models and conserving and restoring land, soil and forestry.

Natural and man-made shocks and emergencies, as well as protracted crises situations, are the biggest drivers of hunger and poverty in the region. Supporting countries to build the resilience of agricultural and rural livelihoods results in multiple benefits that will focus on humanitarian assistance, address hunger and poverty reduction, stimulate economic recovery and growth, and help building stronger and more sustainable livelihoods for people, communities, countries and the region.

Stories from the Field

We used to have very limited sources of information; now the situation is different. 

I love my town deeply, and I want it to serve as a model for other towns in Lebanon.

Women are a key to the transformation of agrifood systems worldwide

FAO’s Nabta programme is helping entrepreneurs kick start agri-ventures

For Mohamed, milk production means carrying on a family legacy

FAO supports a Palestinian farmer and food hero to enhance food security in his Gaza community

With FAO support, the United Arab Emirates revives its pearling past through sustainable aquaculture practices.