FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

Online Training and Research on "Trade and Food Security"


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) - Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa in cooperation with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is pleased to announce the upcoming online joint training course for representatives of government and related agencies, who are directly involved in the formulation and implementation of food security policies and agricultural programs in the Near East and North Africa region. This includes officials from the Ministries of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.  Ministries of trade and industry; ministries of finance and economy; Food safety, sanitary, phytosanitary, veterinary and other relevant authorities.

Course title: Trade and Food security

Course dates: from 28 May to 22 June 2023

Course language: The course is conducted in Arabic only

Registration status: open

Deadline for registration: May 14, 2023

General background on the course

The relationship between trade and food security is receiving increasing attention in both trade and development agendas. Ending global hunger by 2030 is a major goal of the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, while trade is recognized as one of the means to achieve the SDGs. The challenge, however, is to ensure that the expansion of agricultural trade works for, rather than against, the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition. This challenge is at the forefront. Governments have been negotiating hard to introduce amendments to current agricultural trade agreements at the global level, which are needed to ensure that trade achieves improvements in the level of food security.

Perhaps one of the major challenges is the growing need for trade expertise whose mission is to support the development trade plans in the region. National and regional institutions often lack the technical capacity and resources required to identify trade priorities and constraints at the national, subregional and regional levels; or to make a practical assessment of the impacts of its various memberships on trade and food security; or to formulate appropriate policies and strategies to alleviate food insecurity; or to negotiate trade agreements capable of consolidating the gains from trade and jurisdiction.

Accordingly, this course seeks to strengthen capacities in Arab countries, to design and implement evidence-based trade policies, as well as to formulate and negotiate trade agreements, taking into account the need of those countries for economic growth and structural transformations, not to mention their concerns associated with food security.


The course consists of three units, each unit comprising two or three lessons, in which links are presented between concepts, with practical regional experiences in the field of trade and food security.

Unit One: Introduction to Trade and Food Security

Lesson 1-1: Definitions and links between trade and food security

Lesson 1-2: Effects of trade on food security

The second Unit: trade policy in support of food security

Lesson 2-1: Trade policy measures and agricultural development

Lesson 2-2: Develop and implement trade policy measures

Module Three: Trade Governance and Food Security

Lesson 3-1: Introduction to the Multilateral Trading System

Lesson 3.2: The Policy Space for Achieving Food Security in a Multilateral Trading System

Lesson 3.3: Towards better governance in favor of trade and food security


The course is conducted in Arabic for a period of four weeks, organized into three units. It is delivered through the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) e-learning platform (http://www.unitar.org) using training materials developed by FAO. The learning tool will help participants achieve the learning objectives for the course through a personal paced study method, optional and compulsory reading materials, exercises, discussion forums and assessment questions. The course work is facilitated and supervised by international experts known for their rich experience, which ensures that real-life examples are incorporated into the course curriculum.

Target group

The course is designed to assist representatives of government agencies and other stakeholders directly involved in the formulation and implementation of agricultural policies and programs within Arabic-speaking countries. Stakeholders may include officials from the Ministries of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries; the Ministries of Trade and Industry; Ministries of Finance and Economy, and authorities responsible for food safety, phytosanitary, veterinary and other related institutions. 

The course also benefits participants from the private sector, including, for example, representatives of producers' associations, agricultural industries and traders.

Researchers and students interested in agricultural policy and trade analysis are also encouraged to participate in this course.

Priority is given to policy-makers and practitioners who are able to influence agricultural trade through regional, national or sector-level activities and so on).

Spaces are limited and candidates will be subject to a selection process conducted by FAO taking into account geographical distribution and gender balance. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply and register at the earliest via the following page: https://tfs23arabic.unitar.org/english/registration