FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO celebrates 40 years of country representations in the Near East and North Africa region

Opening of the photo exhibition celebrating 40 years of FAO country representation in the NENA region.

9 May 2018, Rome – The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is celebrating today the 40th anniversary of nine country representations in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) – along with the milestones and success stories it achieved in each member country.

Between 1977 and 1979, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Sudan, Syria and Yemen signed agreements to establish FAO representation offices in their respective countries. This was followed by FAO-tailored support to each country  based on its needs.

On the sideline of the 34th Session of the Regional Conference for the Near East (#NERC34), Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, FAO Assistant Director General and Regional Representative for NENA, and Darine El-Khatib, Special Goodwill Ambassador for Zero Hunger for NENA, inaugurated a photo exhibition highlighting major policy- and ground-level work carried out in the nine countries.

“The Near East and North Africa region hosted the first ever FAO regional office in Egypt, subregional office in Tunisia and country office in Lebanon; and for 40 years, fighting hunger, poverty and malnutrition have been at the heart of our work. FAO’s cooperation with member countries and support in the field are crucial in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, in particular, food security and nutrition,” said Ould Ahmed during the opening of the exhibition.

“So many of the issues FAO works on are very dear to my heart; such as nutrition, food loss and waste, water and resources waste.  In addition, through its other programmes FAO is continuously supporting people displaced by conflict, strengthening livelihoods, creating youth employment and helping farmers adapt to climate change,” stated El-Khatib.

Along the 40 years, FAO has been committed to long-term sustainable development in the region, in cooperation with host country governments. This is reflected through the Organization’s work where, for instance, Lebanon’s office remained fully active throughout the Civil War and continued to provide emergency assistance to local farmers. More recently, amid the Syrian crisis, FAO was able to launch a national animal health campaign where it vaccinated more than 11 million heads of sheep, cattle and goats against contagious diseases.

Moving forward, FAO is committed to supporting all member countries in achieving the SDGs by 2030 to ensure not only national development, but prosperity on a regional and global level. 

View all the photo exhibition pictures here.

Follow the hashtag #FAO40NENA