IOFS Celebrates World Food Day at OIC Brainstorming Session, followed by a Meeting with OIC Secretary General and Signing of an MoU with OIC UNA

IOFS Celebrates World Food Day at OIC Brainstorming Session, followed by a Meeting with OIC Secretary General and Signing of an MoU with OIC UNA
17 October 2022

To mark World Food Day, on October 16,2022 a Brainstorming Session was held on the theme “Strategies for Addressing the Current and Future Food Security Needs of OIC Member States” at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The event was organized by the OIC General Secretariat, IOFS and IsDB.

The brainstorming session, with the participation of OIC PRs, relevant OIC Institutions, selected other countries, and selected local and international organizations and NGO’s, gathered to focus on how to enhance OIC’s support to food security in OIC Member States.

After the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran, and Introductory speech was made by Dr. Ahmad Kawesa Sengendo, Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs, followed by an opening statement by H.E. Mr.Hissein Brahim Taha, the Secretary General of OIC. The event was also attended by H.E. Ambassador Rizwan Saeed Sheikh, Pakistani Permanent Representative to OIC.

The session started with a report on the World Food Security Situation. The report stated that as a result of conflicts, political instability and climate disasters, many countries and regions have been subjected to the threat of food security, affecting millions of people. According to a joint FAO-WFP Hunger Hotspots: June to September 2022 Outlook, released in June 2022, 14 OIC Member States were listed among the countries identified as hunger hotspots, requiring urgent and scaled up assistance to address food insecurity. These countries include: Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Mozambique, and Yemen. Approximately 88 million people residing in these 14 OIC Member States were at risk of hunger, unless they received immediate life-saving assistance.

Against this backdrop, the Brainstorming Session invited experts from Member States as well as relevant OIC institutions to share their country experiences as well as views and suggestions on the nature of food security problems and practical solutions.

Next, presentations were given by: SESRIC, a presentation on the State of Agriculture and Food Security Challenges in OIC Member States; IsDB prepared a presentation on IsDB Food Security Response Program; COMCEC, a presentation on Financing Agriculture and Food Security Projects under the COMCEC Project Funding.

Finally, H.E Director General Yerlan Baidaulet reported a Presentation on the Programmes of the Islamic Organization for Food Security towards addressing food insecurity in OIC Member States. The presentation included an overview of the 16 strategies programmes of IOFS, and was concluded with a report on the resolutions adopted on the 5th General Assembly, with the main following outcomes: the celebration of OIC Food Security Day every 11th of December; consideration of requirements for opening IOFS Regional Offices; mandate to work closely with Civil Society and Initiating Annual IOFS Civil Society forum; the Transformation and Growth of the International Food Processing Association (IFPA); Cooperation on conservation and use of plant and animal genetic resources. The proposals and resolutions of IOFS received full approval among all representatives of the Session.

The Brainstorming Session ended with an open discussion on a Way forward: Imperatives for OIC Strategy for Join Actions. The participants agreed on conducting this event every year in an even more active format. Intra-OIC cooperation was promoted to collectively address the underlying causes of food insecurity, as well as increase food production in OIC Member States.

On the sidelines of the main event, H.E. Yerlan Baidaulet Director General of IOFS held several short meetings with H.E. Ambassador Rizwan Saeed Sheikh, Pakistani Permanent Representative to OIC, and with representatives of the Islamic Development Bank.

The Director General also met with the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, H.E. Hissein Brahim Taha, to inform him on the outcomes of the 5th General Assembly of IOFS, held on October 10-11 in Tunis, Republic of Tunisia, as well as a report on the Year of Africa. The Director General asked for the support of IOFS programmes at all levels, through the OIC meetings with Heads of State, and government representatives.  

Finally, the Director General of IOFS held a meeting with Acting Director-General of the Union of News Agencies (UNA) Mohammed Abd Rabbo Al-Yami, and an MoU was signed between the two organizations. The meeting included fruitful discussions on enhancing the relationship between UNA and IOFS, and areas of cooperation were discussed between the two sides within the framework of the OIC and its objectives.