FAO official lectures at Zayed University

ABU DHABI, 22nd November 2015 (WAM) — Mehdi Drissi, FAO Representative in the United Arab Emirates and Sub-regional coordinator for the Gulf Cooperation Council States and Yemen, has praised the leaders and government of the UAE for working towards eliminating hunger as part of their commitment to global development.
Drissi was speaking in a lecture at Zayed University on FAO’s efforts to fight poverty and hunger.
He noted that the UAE plays an influential and powerful role in reducing hunger rate across the world and succeeded in developing its agriculture and food sectors inspired by its founder the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who once said, “Give me agriculture and I will give you civilization.”
“The UAE joined FAO in 1973, and in 2006, the FAO Representation in UAE was inaugurated. Generously funded by the UAE, the Sub-regional Office for the Gulf Cooperation Council States and Yemen was established in the UAE in November 2010,” the FAO representative said.
According to FAO, with 1.3 billion tonnes of food is lost or wasted every year around the globe, which is almost one-third of all food produced for human consumption.
The FAO official noted that the UAE was among the top countries which managed to keep undernourishment levels below 5 percent since 1990.
“We must make better use of water along the whole chain from the farm to the market while preserving and restoring healthy ecosystems. Water use efficiency and productivity increase through better on-farm water management, improvement of irrigation system performance and adjustments of irrigation polices,” the FAO official said, urging for a comprehensive approach to management of water resources that take into account crops, fisheries, livestock, and land management while guaranteeing environmental sustainability.
“For instance, the number of undernourished has doubled from 16.5 million people in 1990-1992 to 33 million people in 2014-2016 due to conflicts, which are the main drivers of food insecurity in the region,” the FAO official said.