On 19 December, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) marked 25 years of joint efforts towards more sustainable agrifood systems
To celebrate the occasion, ERBD president, Odile Renaud-Basso, met with FAO director-general QU Dongyu at the FAO headquarters in Rome, where they planted an olive tree as a symbol of the long-term cooperation between both organisations. A new US$5.5mn package of technical assistance was also launched to improve food security in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia as well as the West Bank and Gaza.
The joint initiative, which will kick off in January, is a timely response to the crisis in grain markets, which has made global food security more precarious. The initiative will help governments revisit some of their agrifood policies, for example, by improving long-term resilience of the grain value chain.
The package supports public and private investments in upgrading national grain import systems, including the development of more efficient procurement and better storage infrastructures. Finally, the initiative will also help countries re-assess their own food production potential, while looking at climate and environmental constraints and maximising the value of local production, including through trade diversification.
“Transforming agrifood systems calls for a range of technical solutions, enabling policies and investment. Together with the EBRD and other partners, FAO has been supporting members to move forward on these three fronts simultaneously to ensure the four betters: better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all - leaving no one behind,” underscored FAO director-general Qu.
“FAO looks forward to stepping up its 25-year partnership with the EBRD for even stronger collaboration to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he added.