ABU DHABI / WAM
Mehdi Al Idrissi, the FAO Representative in the UAE and Sub-regional Coordinator for the GCC and Yemen, has commended the role of the UAE in promoting food security locally, regionally and globally.
He praised the country’s efforts in strengthening the role of the United Nations and international organisations in general and FAO in particular.
Idrissi told Emirates News Agency (WAM) in a statement that the UAE’s effort in the field of agriculture “is an excellent example,” stressing that the UAE’s hosting of FAO office in Abu Dhabi, which also represents the GCC and Yemen, comes within the framework of strengthening its position as a regional and world hub in various fields of sustainable development.
About the role of the FAO office, he explained that the organisation’s office meets the technical requirements of the GCC countries and Yemen in areas of environment, water, agriculture, fisheries, animal, food safety and agricultural investments, in addition to the rehabilitation of national cadres, through a team of international experts.
Idrissi added that FAO contributes to providing benefits and agricultural services as well as necessary support to forests and fisheries’ sectors in a sustainable manner to actively eradicate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition around the world.
He noted that FAO takes interest in the UAE’s efforts to tackle challenges of providing food and water, pointing out that the organisation is working through partnerships with the UAE institutions to push forward development and progress with its counterparts in developing countries.
Idrissi pointed out that the Millennium Development Goals include three goals on reduction of world poverty by half, achieve full and productive employment for all, and reduction of the proportion of world population who suffer from hunger by half.
He said that the UAE contributed effectively to reducing the number of hungry people worldwide and succeeded in the development of the agricultural and food sectors, pointing out that the Food and Agriculture Organisation statistics confirm that 1.3 billion tons of food get wasted every year around the world.
Idrissi said that this figure is nearly one-third of food produced for human consumption, noting that the UAE is one of the top countries that have managed to maintain low levels of undernutrition to a minimum of five per cent since 1999.
Idrissi also pointed out that the UAE was honoured, along with 72 other countries around the world, for achieving the goal of eradicating hunger in the world, in a global event organised by the FAO in collaboration with the World Food Programme in Rome in June 2015.
He praised the wise UAE leaders who did not hesitate to lend a helping hand to aid countries that suffer from disasters irrespective of race, religion or ethnicity, with the aim to assert its role in addressing pressing food poverty and hunger issues worldwide.
Idrissi underlined that the UAE adopts several projects focusing on innovation to develop capabilities in agricultural production and food security in collaboration with FAO.