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Food Secure Arab World Conference gets underway

2012 February

In this morning’s opening remarks, Dr. Nadim Khouri, Deputy Executive Secretary UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) stated that the objective of this conference is to advance the dialogue between policy makers and researchers so that a difference can be made on the ground. Following him, Dr. Fawzi Al Sultan, Board of Trustees at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), highlighted that job creation must be a high development priority for the Arab region and that this conference is the beginning of IFPRI's long term commitment to the region.

Dr. Shenggen Fan, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Director General stated, "Almost 40 million people in the Arab region are undernourished. We need a comprehensive strategy to tackle the regional food security issues." He went on to note that smallholder agriculture has a strong role to play in enhancing food security and that carefully designed trade policies would make significant contributions to food and nutrition security. He added, “Food production is essential but not sufficient” concluding that this conference is an opportunity to come together, take stock, and decide what actions need to be taken.