On July 23, 2023, the Islamic Organization of Food Security (IOFS) delegation visited the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to discuss and advance the Afghanistan Food Security Program (AFSP) and other joint initiatives within the bilateral cooperation of the two sister institutions of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The delegation, composed of Mr Abdula Manafi Mutualo, Advisor at the Coordination & Cooperation Department, and Mr Emre Yuksek, Manager for Humanitarian Operations, engaged in fruitful discussions with IsDB representatives.
During the meeting with Eng. Mohammad Jamal Alsaati, Special Advisor to the IsDB President and Head of the Afghanistan Humanitarian Trust Fund (AHTF), the delegation exchanged views on the progress of the AFSP. They highlighted recent milestones, such as the Humanitarian Food Convoy in April 2023 and food assistance to Drug Addicted Treatment Centers in Kabul in partnership with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in June. The IOFS delegation was informed about the utilization of funds from the AHTF, generously contributed by OIC member states, especially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They were invited to propose sustainable and comprehensive projects for consideration in the future.
In a separate meeting, the IOFS delegation engaged with the IsDB Team responsible for food security and agriculture-related projects, led by Dr Nizar Zaied, Lead Global Water Specialist. The two sides explored potential joint initiatives, with a particular focus on projects to benefit OIC member states in Africa. Notably, they discussed initiatives related to the development of the cassava value chain, which was identified as one of the strategic commodities by OIC member states. These discussions highlighted the shared commitment of both organizations to address food security challenges in the region and foster agricultural development to ensure sustainable food accessibility for all. The meetings laid the foundation for enhanced cooperation between the IOFS and IsDB, reinforcing their efforts to combat hunger and malnutrition and promote food security and stability across OIC member states, particularly in Afghanistan and other vulnerable regions.