Tuesday, 12 September 2017 13:17

A journey towards Zero Hunger begins in Egypt Darine El-Khatib, FAO’s Special Goodwill Ambassador for Zero Hunger for NENA region visits Egypt

12 September 2017, Cairo -- Darine El-Khatib, FAO’s Special Goodwill Ambassador for Zero Hunger for the Near East and North Africa (NENA), arrived today in Egypt for a visit aimed at promoting a better understanding of FAO's vision of a world free of hunger and malnutrition.

El-Khatib is a Lebanese journalist and a dedicated advocate of the Zero Hunger challenge in the NENA region. In March 2017, she joined forces with FAO to help raise awareness of the increasing difficulties of achieving food security for all in a region affected by conflict, water scarcity and climate change.

Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, FAO Assistant Director-General and NENA Regional Representative, received El-Khatib at FAO’s Regional Office in Cairo, where they discussed the alarming situation in the NENA region. Their talks also centred on FAO programmes that assist member countries in overcoming their food and nutrition security challenges.

Ould Ahmed praised El-Khatib’s efforts to raise public awareness on the food insecurity situation in the region, including the campaign she launched in 2015 to encourage the NENA audience and youth to play a part in the global effort to end hunger and fight food waste and malnutrition.

For her part, El-Khatib said: “I am honored to be a part of FAO’s journey to fight hunger and malnutrition,” said El-Khatib.  “I am confident that together we can make a difference in the world and reach Zero Hunger by 2030.”

Achieving a world of free of hunger by 2030 is one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 2) developed and agreed upon by the international community, and it is at the heart of FAO’s work. FAO works closely with governments and regional partners to mainstream food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture in public policies and programmes.

NENA and the Zero Hunger challenge by 2030
FAO’s most recent estimates indicate that food security and nutrition levels in the region have sharply deteriorated over the last five years, undermining the steady improvements achieved before 2010. Nearly 16.5 million persons in the region were hungry in 1990. By the end of 2015, the number of undernourished persons had doubled to around 33 million.

The social, economic, demographic and political changes that the region has undergone in the last three decades have greatly influenced the nature, scope and magnitude of health and nutrition problems. Many NENA countries have appeared on lists of countries with the highest rates of obesity in the world. Many others are also among those countries with the highest incidence of stunting among children.

FAO works with its member countries to help improve and protect food systems, ensure better nutrition and healthy consumption and adapt agricultural practices to a changing climate in order to feed a growing world population.

Mariam Hamed Hassanien
Regional Media Relations (Cairo)
(+2) 02 333 16000 ext. 2722
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mowaffaq Al-Refai
FAO Iraq
Telephone:  +964 -7801627585
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Info

  • Agency: FAO
Last modified on Tuesday, 12 September 2017 13:20

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