On 18 September 2022, the Director General of IOFS H.E. Mr. Yerlan A. Baidaulet had several important meetings in Cairo, Egypt.
The Director General started his meetings by one with the extended delegation of members of Arab Parliament headed by its President H.E. Mr. Adel Al-Asoomi. The Arab Parliament is the legislative body of the Arab League. President Al-Asoomi is also the President of the Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR) which was established in 1983 with the goal at promoting respect for human rights in the Arab arena. It holds a consultative status at the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, and the recipe organizational relationships UNESCO World, and observer status of bodies competent at the Arab League and the African Union.
The IOFS Director General noted that all members to the Arab League are OIC Member States and reiterated that the food security is the main human right that shall be ensured at the national level and by the international community. Also, as both organizations working to develop food security index, it was stressed on joining the efforts to build the methodology and indicators of proposed indices. The parties also agreed to cooperate in the areas that represent the mutual interest, especially the members of Arab Parliament agreed to facilitate the relationship of IOFS with its Member States. At the end, the parties signed the Memorandum of Understanding and expressed the confidence for further fruitful cooperation.
Following the day program, the Director General conducted a very productive meeting with H.E. Dr. Hany Atef Swailem, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation of Egypt. First of all, H.E. Mr. Yerlan A. Baidaulet extended again his congratulation with the appointment of H.E. Dr. Swailem as the Minister and expressed the confidence in further fruitful cooperation. In particular, the Director-General introduced the IOFS Strategic Vision 2031, made an overview of its programs, including “Year of Africa”, and some of current projects/activities, such as the training on water irrigation for farmers in Niger and the Water integration plan for Sahel region. The Minister Dr. Swailem welcomed the IOFS’s engagement in the upcoming Cairo Water Week by conducting the important side-event on Water management in agriculture. H.E. Mr. Yerlan A. Baidaulet also emphasized that the IOFS will be keen to make a substantial contribution to the water policy dialogue under Cairo Water Week to discuss critical issues, policies, strategies, plans, and measures related to climate-water challenges. At the end, the parties agreed to continue the close cooperation and provide the assistance within their activities.
Subsequently, the IOFS Director General had an extended meeting with H.E. Mr. Mohamed Al-Sayed El-Quseir, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation of the Arab Republic of Egypt. The Director General informed the Honorable Minister on the active implementation by the IOFS Secretariat of programming activities since both parties met last year.
At the beginning, the Director General thanked H.E. Mr. El-Quseir for the support to the upcoming IOFS-organized training workshop on food security governance and appreciated for the usual support of the Government of Egypt to IOFS. Overall, H.E. Mr. Yerlan A. Baidaulet raised several points for discussion, particularly, the IOFS achievements for the last year and its activities in the years to come. It was highlighted the role of Islamic Food Processing Association (IFPA) in promoting the intra-OIC trade and investment in agri-food sector with special focus on development of food value chains, as well as the IOFS Fund which aims at enabling a sustainable Funding mechanism in addressing food security requirements for essential commodities food reserves, managing price fluctuations, crop losses, humanitarian needs and general industry growth needs. Finally, the Director-General proposed the close cooperation for the joint support to the agricultural sector of particular African member countries, such as Somalia, Chad and Sudan.
The Honorable Minister H.E. Mr. Mohamed El-Quseir shared the importance of manufacturing of agricultural products, not just exporting the raw materials and agreed to extend the Ministry’s assistance to connect IFPA with Egyptian Chamber of Entrepreneurs in agriculture. He also agreed to provide his views and feedback to the work of IOFS Fund, by being in the supervisory board of the Fund. Also, the Ministry will be supportive to the IOFS initiatives and activities with helping to the development of agricultural sector in African OIC member countries.
Finally, the Director General met with the President of Dr. Taghreed Hussein, the President of Nile TV International which is the public Egyptian television channel being the second Egyptian satellite television news network in Egypt, and the first Arab satellite channel to broadcast its programs in foreign languages to reach the whole Arab world, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States.
The Director General thanked for the last year’s interview at Nile TV and briefed on IOFS activities since that time. Also, it was emphasized that the IOFS has been implementing the number of projects and activities in Middle East, Africa and other OIC regions. However, certain efforts shall be made for reaching the awareness on its activities, promote the values of programs’ implementation to the governments and public in order to strengthen cooperation to jointly address food insecurity issues in OIC geography. Dr. Taghreed Hussein informed that the Nile TV having good experience of working with international inter-governmental organizations, will provide the support to IOFS programs on media promotion and give advice for the certain activities in this field.
It is to note that the IOFS Director General throughout the meetings was accompanied by Dr. Ismail Abdelhamid, the Director of Programmes and Projects Office, and Mr. Bakytzhan Arystanbek, Program Manager of the Programmes and Projects Office.