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  • Wednesday, 19 July 2023

Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat Discusses Joint Cooperation to Support Food Security & Rural Development in Egypt with Assistant Director General & FAO Regional Director

The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat met with  Dr. Abdul Hakim Elwaer, Assistant Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa, as part of H.E.’s periodic meetings with development partners, both multilateral and bilateral, to discuss maximizing the benefits of development cooperation efforts, and exploring future cooperation opportunities in light of the country's development priorities.

The Minister stressed the importance of the joint efforts made by the FAO in Egypt in cooperation with national authorities to promote agricultural and rural development and support food security efforts. H.E.  pointed out that these efforts are of great importance at this time, especially given the major challenges facing global food security due to supply chain crises, geopolitical developments, and climate change.

The also discussed future steps for implementing the project "Enhancing Climate-Smart Agriculture and Agro-Biodiversity to Support Adaptation Capacity in Climate-affected Rural Communities in the Old and New Lands of the Nile Delta and Upper Egypt" in collaboration with national entities; supported by a $10 million grant from the Canadian government. They emphasized the importance of the project in light of its integration with the efforts of the Egyptian government to implement the national platform for the "NWFE" program, a nexus of  water, food, and energy projects.

Moreover, Al-Mashat and Elwaer  highlighted success stories of projects that have already been implemented on-ground to enhance agricultural and rural development, support small farmers, empower rural women, encourage micro-projects, and support the adaptability of rural communities to climate change. In this regard, the FAO Assistant Director-General highlighted  the importance of these projects and the possibility of cooperation with the organization to enhance South-South cooperation and triangular  cooperation to transfer development experiences to Arab countries.

It is worth mentioning that the cooperative relations between the Government of Egypt  and the FAO started in 1978, and many joint cooperation programs have been implemented for the development of agricultural and rural policies. Several projects are currently being implemented, including the project to enhance the governance of biosecurity to support sustainable aquaculture production, the project to enhance crop and livestock production and productivity through the adoption of innovative agricultural practices and technologies, the emergency response project to enhance Egypt's national capacity for early warning and control of agricultural pests, and the project for sustainable management of agricultural ecological systems in the New Valley Governorate.