Baghdad 21 March 2017: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Iraq and in collaboration with the Regional Food Security Analysis Network (RFSAN) held a multi-stakeholder consultation workshop between 14-15 March in Baghdad. The workshop focused on strengthening national food security information systems in Iraq as well as discussing future capacity development.
In his welcoming address Mr. Fadel El-Zubi, FAO Representative in Iraq, greeted the 36 participants from different entities which included Iraqi ministries, government institutions, academic institutions, NGOs and the private sector. He emphasised that the main objective of this workshop is to review the food security information systems in Iraq, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the mechanism for collecting and analysing such information. “The key question is how to address the relevant stakeholders’ capacities in this field in the future. The outcome of food security information analysis sets the decision on what level of funding and actions are required to achieve a sustainable food security system, as well as assist FAO to attract the attention of donors to this important issue in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq,” he added.
Dr. Hussein Ali Saud, Ministry of Agriculture Adviser for animal resources activity, said: “FAO is our main partner at the ministry and we appreciate its constant efforts to accomplish an integrated food security system in Iraq including, the establishment of a critically needed database on food security. The Food Security Information System (FSIS) will provide the Ministry of Agriculture with the essential information needed for this database. This strategy is a substantial step for future planning to improve the Iraqi capacity in food security information systems.”
Mr. Rene Verduijn, FAO Chief Technical Advisor of RFSAN, provided an overview on RFSAN’s, vision, goals, products and achievements in the sub-region (Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan), which is affected by the Syria and Iraq crisis. Verduijn also explained that the objectives of this consultation meeting was to improve the food security information systems (FSIS) in Iraq and thus in the region.
Following the group discussions, participants made recommendations and prioritized various needs for capacity building. The recommendations and priorities set by sector will therefore constitute the next step of engagement with Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) institutions for capacity development activities.
The Regional Food Security Analysis Network (RFSAN) is a partnership between iMMAP and FAO, working in close collaboration with various humanitarian and development actors in the sector of food security in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria. One of the many tasks of the program is to understand the implications of agricultural and natural environment change of the Syria crisis on food security in the region.