14 March 2023

Beirut time

Expert Group Meeting

Food security through food systems transformation

  • UN House, Beirut, Lebanon

ESCWA and the Food Agriculture Organization - Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa (FAO-RNE), in collaboration with the League of Arab States and the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD), are convening a special session on “Achieving Food Security Through Food Systems Transformation: Priorities and Actions” during the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development 2023.

The session  brings together Arab officials and experts from governments, civil society, business, private sector and regional and international organizations to reflect on policies and programs that could lead to a sustainable transformation of the food systems.

Participants examine the various forms of support that stakeholders and actors, including regional and international partners, can bring to Arab countries to help them transform their food systems and ensure food security. They draw lessons from successful national actions and assess the different challenges and how to address them.

Outcome document

  • Promoting regional investment in Arab food systems to achieve food security, including the transfer of modern technologies such as use of appropriate climate resilient crops, efficient irrigation, and energy technologies. Also, to strengthening national and regional sovereignty by reducing dependency on food imports from outside the region and building resilience to price volatility;
  • Promoting cooperation, coordination and partnerships amongst Arab States and stakeholders to transform food systems into more resilient, productive, inclusive, equitable and sustainable systems despite conflicts, occupation, ongoing crises, and increasing waves of refugees in the region;
  • Widening the focus of the region's programs and legislation and strengthening governance to overcome the root causes of the Arab food system underperformance through improving productivity efficiency and reducing food waste and loss;
  • ESCWA and FAO presented the current challenges facing Arab food systems and highlighted opportunities to transforming them into inclusive, healthy, sustainable, and resilient systems.
  • Regional Arab and UN organizations, private sector representatives and Food production federations discussed pertinent actions towards ensuring transformation of regional and national food systems
  • Morocco, Palestine, Yemen, Jordan & Tunisia reviewed their respective challenges whereby their level of food security is either impacted by conflicts, crises, or lack of natural resources. They also highlighted some of the national efforts undertaken towards transforming food systems.
  • Participants highlighted the issue of food loss at the production stage and in high levels of food waste at consumer levels with both impacted by socio-economic and ecological dimensions.  

Event details

arrow-up icon