On 11-12 December 2017, APN, represented by its Project Manager Mohammad Qtaishat, attended the Regional Symposium on “Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition in the Near East and North Africa”.
The symposium was organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the League of Arab States. The symposium was hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in Muscat, Oman.During a session on “Social Protection Program for Improving Nutrition”, Qtaishat intervened asserting the importance of supporting smallholder farmers and encouraging local procurement of high quality and non-GMO produce as a means of reducing dependence on donor states.
Qtaishat also called on forming an Arab Fund to support food security in times of conflicts and war.During a session on “Nutrition in Fragile Conditions and Prolonged Conflict: General Discussion”, Qtaishat intervened again, stating that of the 815 million food insecure people in the world, 489 million live in war- and conflict-afflicted countries. As such, Qtaishat stressed that the only way to stop the escalation of world food insecurity is to put an immediate stop to wars and conflicts, and to hold those complicit accountable.
Qtaishat also rightly noted and questioned the absence of panelists from war and conflict-afflicted countries including Yemen, Syria, Palestine and Iraq in a session that highly concerns them.