Press Release

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Engagement in Iraq

20 November 2022

Baghdad, 16 November 2022 - FAO organized a consultative meeting with CSOs Directorate- General Secretariat for the Council of Ministers (GSCM), and Al Aghsan Foundation for Agriculture and Environmental Development to discuss the Roadmap of CSOs Engagement in Iraq. The meeting chaired by FAOR Dr Salah Elhajj Hassan, Programme Division Manager of NGO Directorate GSCM Dr Abbas Gazy, CEO of Alaghsan Foundation Dr Khalid Naji AlAsal .

CSOs play key role in maintaining food security and reducing poverty and have increasingly demonstrated their capabilities and potential in designing and implementing programs and projects at regional, national and local levels. FAO aims for coordinating and opening the dialogue areas more broadly with community organizations.

The meeting comes after a series of consultation sessions and workshops between all involved stakeholders including CSOs all over Iraq. FAO in collaboration with the Iraqi government and Al-Aghsan Foundation aim to facilitate the coordination mechanisms and engagement approach of CSOs on country level in programs related to Agriculture, Water, and Environment sectors, focusing on three areas: Natural Resource, Disaster Risk Management, and Climate Change Resilience.

FAOR highlighted the importance of maximizing the collective coordination between all relevant stakeholders is essential in engaging Local CSOs, through capacity building and establishing a dialogue platform.

Jaff Kayan, Senior Policy Expert at FAO Regional Office, participated virtually and confirmed the commitment of this initiative and expressed willingness to support the next actions for ssupporting the prospects of joint cooperation. FAO Country Office in Iraq will assess complementarities and synergies with other development actors' work in priority areas of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) and the potential of forming multi-stakeholders partnerships between CSOs, United Nations agencies and other development actors.

The work continuous, Roadmap for CSOs Engagement in Iraq at its final stages, and FAO looking forward to set further broader meetings having all relevant partners. FAO will continue on facilitating the coordination, and coming actions will give the opportunity to all stakeholders to be engaged.

Salah Elhajjhassan

Salah Elhajjhassan

Mr Hajj Hassan, a national of Lebanon, holds a Ph.D. in Plant Production from the University of Agriculture, Damascus, Syria; a Master of Science degree in Plant Production and a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering, both from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.
He started his career in 1984, as Senior Research Assistant in the Agricultural Research and Education Centre (AREC), American University of Beirut. From 1987 to 1991, he was Coordinator of the Student Training Programme, and also Agriculture and Horticultural Teacher for the Faculty of Agriculture, at the Lebanese University.
From 1991 to 1995, he worked as Agricultural Engineer at the Ministry of Agriculture, Bekaa Regional Office, Zahlah and was then assigned to the Agricultural Research Institute in the Tal Amara station, first as Head of the Crop Production Department and subsequently in charge of the Plant Protection Laboratory. From 2002 to 2006, he was Director of the Kfardane Research Station (Agricultural Research Institute). In 2008, he became Visiting Scientist at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) and Coordinator of a project with the International Centre for Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna.
In 2010, he served as Advisor to the Minister for Agriculture of Lebanon. In 2011, he became President of the Pesticide Scientific Committee, Head of the Phytoplasma Committee and Director of the Agriculture and Rural Development Programme (ARDP) (EU-funded project). From 2010 to 2013, he represented Lebanon in negotiations with EU, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq. During his career, Mr Hajj Hassan also carried out a number of other functions. He represented the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute (LARI) in several research programmes with the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and the American University of Beirut. He was Coordinator of the Mashreq/Maghreb project with ICARDA, representing Lebanon in the Steering Committee, as well as being the Head of the Sugar-beet Delivery and of the Wheat Delivery Committees. For a number of years, Mr Hajj Hassan worked for the preparation of FAO TCP projects and served as the National Director of a TCP project. He joined FAO in January 2014 as FAO Representative in Yemen. Mr Hajj Hassan succeeds Mr El Zubi as FAO Representative in Iraq.

UN entities involved in this initiative

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Goals we are supporting through this initiative