26 January 2023

The IOFS Director General H.E. Prof. Yerlan A. Baidaulet held a virtual meeting with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, H.E. Ms. Roza Otunbayeva to present the work of the IOFS in Afghanistan and discuss ways and means to strengthen bilateral cooperation. The Director General shared the IOFS Afghanistan Food Security Program, and gave an overview of the work IOFS is currently implementing in Afghanistan and expressed hopes for cooperating closely with UNAMA in this regard.

In her turn, SRSG H.E. Ms. Otunbayeva applauded the work and initiatives of the IOFS, especially given the current humanitarian and political crisis in Afghanistan. She noted that the people of Afghanistan are living through difficult times, with more than half of the population facing acute hunger. Hence, she ensured the IOFS to confidently rely on the assistance, cooperation and coordination of her Office in all related activities. Both sides highlighted the importance of working together to fight the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. 

UNAMA also expressed support for the initiative of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, H.E. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, that was voiced at the UN General Assembly in establishing a UN Regional Centre for SDGs for Central Asia and Afghanistan in Almaty. Furthermore, H.E. Ms. Otunbayeva stated that UNAMA believes and supports the IOFS in its capacity to strengthen regional cooperation in response to the initiatives and goals set by the President of Kazakhstan, and called for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and other organizations to come together for a greater cause of helping the Afghan people and maintaining stability in the region . Both IOFS and UNAMA also noted the importance of linking the work of the IOFS with the OIC Secretary General's Special Envoy to Afghanistan Ambassador Tarig Ali Bakheet. 

The meeting concluded with both sides agreeing that IOFS and UNAMA share many common goals and objectives in Afghanistan and agreed to further elaborate on specific areas of potential partnership.