The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today announced an agreement with a regional African group designed to promote food security, rural development, environmental protection and desertification control through assessments of natural resources.
Signed in Rome with the Community of Sahel-Saharian States (CEN-SAD), the new cooperation accord emphasizes the importance of exchanging information, particularly effective practices and techniques for desertification control and in such areas as partnerships for capacity building.
The agreement was signed by CEN-SAD Secretary General Mohamed Al-Madani Al-Azhari and FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf, FAO said in a statement issued in Rome.
According to the accord, the UN agency will help the 16 CEN-SAD member countries - Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, Djibouti, Eritrea, Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Central African Republic and Somalia - in fighting poverty and promoting food security.
CEN -SAD was established in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on 4 February 1998 for the promotion of peace and stability as well as for rural, social and economic development of the whole region.
The new agreement falls within FAO's Special Programme for Food Security, which was set up in 1994 and is now operational in 62 member countries.