Press Release

FAO supplied veterinary centers in Erbil, Duhok, and Nineveh Governorates with IT equipment

17 January 2023

Erbil-Duhok-Nineveh, Iraq, 16 January 2023 – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Iraq (FAO) on 12 January handed over IT equipment to veterinary services in Erbil, Dohuk and Ninewa governorates. This support package is an integral part of national capacity building project on improving the delivery of animal health services and disease surveillance in Iraq.

The FAO Representative in Iraq Dr Salah ElHajjHassan handed over PCs, Map Printer, and mobile phones, to be used for EMA-i application and disease reporting, to the General Directorate of Animal Wealth and Veterinary in Erbil, Veterinary Directorate in Duhok and Veterinary Hospital in Ninewa.

These equipment are intended to support Iraq’s ability to detect, diagnose, and report high‐threat veterinary and/or zoonotic diseases in the targeted provinces.

During the visit to Dohuk, Dr Salah ElHajjHassan met the Deputy Governor, Dr Sham’un Tilaya, and the Deputy Head of Duhok Veterinary Directorate, Dr Suleiman Tamer and discussed FAO Iraq activities in the region, the implementations of DTRA funded project and potential future collaboration.

Dr Salah ElHajjHassan also had a brief meeting in Duhok with the newly graduated vets and shared insights about FAO and orientation to the importance of enhancing their skills through trainings to increase their employment opportunities.

In Ninewa, the FAO Representative met the Director of the Veterinary Hospital, Dr Oday Shihab Ahmed who expressed his appreciate for FAO support and together visited the newly established facilities.

The four-year project is financially supported by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency of the United States (DTRA) aimed at reducing the risk of the international movement of animal diseases, which introduction and spread could threaten livestock production, food security and nutrition, food safety and public health and the environment of Iraq. To achieve the above, the project implements activities to strengthen the capacity of veterinary services to detect, diagnose and report highly pathogenic animal diseases and improve communication between central/local levels and herding communities.

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.

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