The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is fostering new agreements among some of its member countries to encourage the growing trend towards cooperation among countries of the global South.
Under the trend, developing countries are putting more financial and technical muscle behind initiatives to help each other improve food security.
According to a statement from the FAO here Tuesday, the UN agency recently co-signed two new tripartite agreements between China as well as Liberia and Senegal to support implementation of a series of food security initiatives and projects in the African nations.
The agreements were signed in the context of the Strategic Alliance between FAO and China on South-South Cooperation (SSC), in support of programmes for food and nutrition security in selected countries. The funding provided through the new agreement comes from a US$30 million FAO-China Trust Fund.
Under the agreement with Liberia, China will contribute more than US$1 million and technical assistance through 24 Chinese experts and technicians, to support implementation of the National Programme for Food Security over a two-year-period. In Senegal, China will provide assistance through 26 experts and technicians.
“At a time when continued economic uncertainties are having an impact on the flow of traditional, North-South development assistance, South-South Cooperation is creating and building on partnerships that support the direct exchange of financial and technical contributions between developing countries,” said Laurent Thomas, FAO Assistant Director-General, Technical Cooperation Department.
Thomas said FAO’s South-South Cooperation (SSC) initiative was launched in 1996 to provide technical support to country-level action on food insecurity.
”Since then, FAO’s experience with South-South Cooperation has shown that the knowledge and skills of technical experts and field technicians from the South have made an invaluable contribution to efforts to modernize small-scale agriculture throughout the developing world,” he said.
A total of 47 tripartite agreements have been signed to provide technical assistance among developing countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and over 1 500 experts and technicians have been fielded in the framework of various food security initiatives