FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO celebrates its 40th anniversary with the Egyptian Government

Ministers, senior state officials and representatives of local and international organizations mark another milestone in FAO’s cooperation and ¬partnership with Egypt

15 May 2018, Cairo, Egypt - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Egypt has celebrated its 40th anniversary highlighting its achievements and successes over the years while identifying future cooperation prospects with the Government of Egypt.

The celebration was attended by a number of ministers, senior government officials, ambassadors, experts, academics and farmers as well as representatives of international organizations, donors and media.

These included HE Dr. Abdul Moneim Al Banna, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation; H.E. Ghada Wali, Minister of Social Solidarity; Hamdy Loza, Deputy Foreign Minister; Richard Dictus, UN Resident coordinator in Egypt; Pasquale Steduto, Regional Strategic Program Coordinator for the Near East and North Africa Region and Hussein Gadain, FAO Representative in Egypt.

“Over the past decades, FAO has implemented several agricultural and rural development programs by providing technical consultations in planning, programming and policy analysis or by providing technical assistance in several areas. FAO has also contributed to Egypt’s agricultural development through the identification, preparation and evaluation of investment projects. Egypt worked hard during the past period to achieve a higher growth rate in the agricultural sector in conformity with what was agreed upon during the second session of the World Food Council in 1975,” said El Banna during his speech.

"Last month, Egypt’s Country Programming Framework 2018-2022 was signed. It indicates the programs and plans for the next five years, taking into consideration current circumstances and challenges. This framework focuses on three priorities: improving agricultural productivity, raising the degree of food security in strategic food commodities and the sustainable use of natural agricultural resources. FAO supports the government of Egypt by integrating the best international practices and standards with regional and national experience, "El Banna added.

"FAO has helped Egypt by providing technical support to formulate policies aiming at promoting sustainable agriculture, developing strategies and supporting programs to improve productivity, develop farming systems, conserve livestock and poultry, reduce transboundary animal diseases and localize good agricultural practices. Over the past four decades, FAO has provided a package of programs and projects, estimated at 170 projects with a total value of 3 billion Egyptian pounds, aiming at promoting agriculture and food security,” said Hussein Gadain, FAO Representative in Egypt.

“This celebration is an opportunity to explore together future opportunities for cooperation and to focus our efforts on increasing the country’s food security. We hope that Egypt will overcome the challenges it faces and achieve its development goals in partnership with FAO under the Country Programming Framework (CPF), which runs until 2022.  This program requires investments of 600 million EGP, and it includes many goals and themes in the areas of agricultural development, food and water security as well as the empowerment of women and other fields," Gadain added.

During the 40th anniversary celebration, a ministerial discussion was held highlighting possible future prospects for cooperation and partnerships with FAO, discussing opportunities to expand further projects that contribute to the implementation of Egypt’s 2030 Development Strategy.

On the sidelines of the celebration, FAO Egypt held an exhibition presenting a number of previous and current FAO projects and their impact on farmers’ lives and on rural development.

Egypt’s natural resources

Egypt is still facing significant challenges, including increased demand for natural and water resources, which is an expected consequence of the large population increase. At the same time, the country suffers the challenge of scarce water, natural and agricultural resources, along with the challenges related to climate change, which is a major concern for Egypt, especially as the temperature rises. 

However, during the last four decades, Egypt has succeeded in achieving significant progress in terms of ensuring its food security, addressing many challenges and achieving a significant increase in the productivity of many crops. Such increase was possible through the application of good agricultural practices, modern irrigation methods, scientific research and expansion of newly reclaimed land.