Baghdad - 26 September 2020 – His Excellency the Minister of Agriculture Eng. Muhammad Karim Jassim Al-Khafaji and the Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Iraq, Dr. Salah El-Hajj Hassan, Head of Cooperation for Iraq - European Commission, Barbara Egger accompanied by representatives from IOM, ILO, GIZ, German Embassy, ITC and UNESCO discussed the support provided by the European Union to the support of governance and sustainable job creation in Iraq.
His Excellency, Mr. Al-Khafaji, expressed the Ministry’s satisfaction and appreciation to the support provided by FAO and other aid agencies to strengthen rural development programs and implement small scale infrastructural projects in rural areas that have suffered significant damage since 2014. He said, “Iraq is steadily recovering from the recent crisis that have resulted in unprecedented socio-economic over the past five years. There is a need for the expansion of livelihood and employment opportunities in the rural areas through a multitude of interventions which include agriculture and related sectors, including the services sector.”
FAO representative in Iraq, Dr. ElHajj Hassan provided an overview on FAO programs in Iraq funded by the EU and the approach the organization is adopting to support the Government of Iraq in addressing poverty reduction. He said “These programs are unique as it capitalizes on the expertise and resources of several United Nations agencies for the development of Iraq’s agriculture sector.” He added “These projects funded by the EU will directly address creation of livelihood and employment and will increase smallholder farming families’ food security, raise their income and therefore improve their health and living standard.”
In Iraq, FAO leads international efforts in supporting agriculture-led economic growth, more resilient communities, and improved food security and nutrition — especially for women and youth. FAO assistance supports farmers through a wide range of interventions, supporting Iraq’s journey to self-reliance through assistance to producers, processors, agriculture support services, and improve the competitiveness of Iraqi products.