FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

Arab countries scale up resilience of agrifood systems against shocks

FAO Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa published the third Food Policy Monitoring Bulletin for 2023

Arab countries scale up resilience of agrifood systems against shocks



The 3rd quarterly issue of the Food Policy Monitoring Bulletin presents how Arab countries protect farmers from shocks by setting up multi-hazard early warning systems and natural disaster risk management institutions.

“FAO encourages regional countries to scale up the resilience of agrifood systems further by adopting anticipatory actions, as the region is threatened by serious, complex, and overlapping shocks and stresses that undermine the food security and nutrition of millions of people”, underlined Dr. Abdulhakim Elwaer, Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative.

Conflict, climatic extremes (droughts and floods), environmental hazards, transboundary animal and plant pests and diseases, and economic shocks are among the most significant shocks that drive risks and vulnerabilities throughout the agrifood systems in the Arab world. “Anticipatory actions are a growing and important area of disaster management that help predict where crises might strike and act ahead of time”, added Mr Ahmad Mukhtar, Head of the Strategy and Policy Unit. “They reduce risks and mitigate their impact on farmers”, he elaborated further.

The bulletin monitors international and regional food prices and crop conditions and gives an overview of recent food and trade policy developments. While global commodities and food prices continue their downward trend, food price inflation remains a significant concern in the region. Wheat harvesting finalized in June and July under mixed conditions due to insufficient rainfall in many areas. For the next season, wheat planting began in October in most parts of the region.

The region’s food policy-related developments in the third quarter of 2023 have aimed, to a large extent, to transform agrifood systems by addressing climate change and water scarcity-related challenges. In addition, to increase food security, countries strived to expand domestic food production. Countries also pursued trade-facilitating measures; however, trade-restricting measures, such as introducing new export bans, could also be observed in the monitoring period.