The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation of Egypt (FAO) in partnership with the Egyptian Food Bank, has adopted a campaign entitled “An Advice everyday in Ramadan” with the aim of reducing food waste, improving food security, and contributing to realising hunger-free communities.
The campaign features participation of Egyptian stars (singers, actors, and actresses) including Iyad Nassar, Yousra al-Louzy, and Tamer Hosny.
“We keep going this year what we initiated a few years ago as part of an awareness campaign to reduce food waste, especially in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which coincides with a leap in food prices [owing to huge rise in demand],” Mohamed Moussa, information officer of the FAO office in Egypt said. He explained that the campaign aims at educating people to buy only what they need on a daily basis and the remainders they can give to needy families.
According to a new report issued by FAO, the near Middle East—including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt—depend on imports for more than 50 per cent of their food needs. Yet, these countries lose up to a third of the food they produce and import, including 14 to 19 per cent of grains; 26 per cent of fish and seafood; 13 per cert of meat; and 45 per cent of vegetables and fruits.
FAO has thus launched a regional project under the title of “Capacity Building for Food Loss Reduction in the Near East”. The immediate objective of the project is to implement a large scale educational training programme (including assessments and workshops) in order to strengthen the national capacity of local leaders of producer associations, food industry managers, and extension personnel in these countries on improved value chain management for food producers, handlers, processors, distributors and marketers. Over a period of 24 months, with the help of FAO’s Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP), this project is committed to achieving the following capacity building outcome: food loss prevention curricula and guidelines developed and available, and a series of awareness building workshops on reducing inefficiencies in food value chains for leaders of the food production, distribution and processing sectors, agri-business managers, and extension agents implemented.
The project is part of the regional strategy for reducing food waste in the Near East and North Africa, which was approved by FAO members in 2014. Its main goals are to improve the effectiveness of food systems, make better use of natural resources, and increase the contributions of the agricultural sector to economic growth and stability.
Muhammad al-Kermany, supervisor at the Egyptian Food Bank, said that the bank was distributing food aid to Egyptian families in all governorates, and sending daily advice through social media applications concerning food security during Ramadan.
“The Food Bank sends Ramadan boxes that include food supplies that meet the needs of families. In cooperation with several apparatuses, including the Ministry of Social Solidarity, FAO and a number of research centres in the field of food security, we were able to measure the impact of this food aid on the lives of individuals in a digital and statistical manner,” noted Mr Kermany.
12 April 2022