The International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) agreed on extending strategic partnership until 2020. This decision was announced at a technical meeting at FAO Regional office for Near East and North Africa in Cairo on 12 April, 2017.
The sides exchanged information regarding ICARDA’s new strategic plan for 2017-2026 and FAO’s regional priorities on water scarcity, resilience and small-scale family farming.
Aly Abousabaa, ICARDA’s Director General, stressed the importance of “building on the successful relationship with FAO and the cooperation in supporting sustainable agricultural development and management of water and land resources to enhance food security and improve livelihoods of the Near East and North Africa Region.”
“With our clear strategic plan for the next decade, we will be able to activate an ambitious action plan which will boost our cooperation in various areas,” he added.
Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative, welcomed the strategic partnership, “which will definitely drive tangible results in one of the most arid regions”.
“ICARDA’s mandate and FAO strategic programme share a lot of similarities in the region, and this partnership will serve the hungry and the poor, and enable both entities to better meet their set goals and objectives in line with the Sustainable Development Goals,” he noted.
In the past three years, ICARDA and FAO were active at many levels in the region, scaling up improved water management technologies and practices, and holding capacity-building workshops. The latest joint event in Egypt with more than 40 participants addressed rural gender inequalities and accelerating women’s empowerment in rural communities across the Middle East and North Africa.