Tuesday, 17 October 2017 16:32

World Food Day 2017 celebrated in Iraq under the theme “Change the future of migration: Invest in food security and rural development”

Baghdad, 16 October 2017 - The Ministry of Agriculture in Iraq, in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, celebrated the World Food Day under the patronage of H.E. Minister of Agriculture Eng. Falah Hassan Al-Zaidan and with the participation of the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Ms. Lise Grande.

The World Food Day, which coincides with the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on 16 October 1945. It is organized in more than 150 countries around the world, making it one of the most important days of the United Nations calendar. These activities seek to raise global awareness and action for the millions of people who suffer from hunger in order to eliminate it and ensure food security and food systems for all.

In his welcoming address, H.E. Minister of Agriculture Mr. Al-Zaidan expressed his pleasure to be part of the FAO’s celebration on World Food Day 2017. He emphasized that the agriculture sector is one of the main economic activities that contribute to the national economy and food security through local agriculture production, and that reviving the agriculture sector will help diversify the economy, reduce poverty, improve the trading balance, and achieve improvement and development across all other related sectors directly and indirectly. Minister Al Zeidan has highlighted the role of FAO in developing the capacity of the ministry staff through training opportunities and implementing programmes and projects that deliver and introduce the most recent techniques. His Excellency has concluded his speech giving some examples on FAO’s techniques and technologies that helped increase the fisheries production and reduce their prices as well as improve livestock production through cattle embryo transfer technology, looking forward for more future collaboration and support to ministry projects and agriculture development plans.

Ms. Lise Grande, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, praised the role played by FAO in Iraq, its successful projects and continued support to the agriculture sector. Ms. Grande further stated that 5.4 million Iraqis have been displaced during since 2014. 3.2 million are still displaced. “Hundreds of thousands of families have lost their livelihoods and many feel they have no choice but to leave their country and migrate. If we together help families earn a livelihood and eliminate food insecurity by investing in rural development, people will be able to rebuild their lives in Iraq and not have to leave.”

Mr. Fadel El-Zubi, FAO Representative in Iraq, emphasized in his speech that the World Food Day is an opportunity to renew FAO commitment to the second goal of Sustainable Development - to achieve the elimination of hunger by 2030, to celebrate the progress that FAO have already made towards this noble goal. He stated that this year's celebration is important because it raises the slogan "to change the future of migration: investment in food security and rural development", as large number of the world's population have been forced to flee their homes in ever-increasing numbers since the Second World War because of conflicts and political instability in their countries . He emphasized that hunger, poverty and climate change are important additional factors that also contributed to migration. Al-Zubi mentioned that in order to eradicate hunger and achieve food security, all partners need to invest more in rural development by finding a policy that helps in creating opportunities for agricultural business and employment for youth that are not agriculture-based. Furthermore, by empowering affected populations to cope with extreme climate conditions by finding better ways to adapt to it and reduce the contribution to it.
The ceremony was concluded with a presentation on the results of FAO Agriculture Damage and Loss Needs Assessment in Crisis-affected areas namely Ninewah, Salah Al-Din, Anbar, Diyala, Babil and Wasit governorates. The results were explained to the attendees showing the comparison between the agriculture sector status before and after the crisis. The presentation highlighted the short-term recommendations in order to restore the agricultural activates and livelihoods in affected areas and linked it with impact on food security situation across the country.

Representatives of the diplomatic corps, national and international organizations as well as Iraqi public and private sectors attended the event.


For more information, please contact:
FAO Communication Officer Mowaffaq Al-Refai
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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