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UN Food and Agriculture Organization opens new office in Sulaimani

First Lady of Iraq Sarbagh Salih speaks at the opening of the FAO’s Sulaimani office on May 15, 2019. (NRT Digital Media)
2019-05-15

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SULAIMANI — The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) opened a new office in Sulaimani on Wednesday (May 15) during a ceremony attended by First Lady of Iraq Sarbagh Salih and UN Deputy Special Representative Marta Ruedas.

The office will provide technical assistance and coordination for agricultural and water infrastructure projects in the governorate.

“This is going to be a wonderful beginning,” Salih said of the opening of the new office.

“I would like to say that I will do as much as I can to support you and [your efforts],” she added.

“The last time I was in Sulaimani, in February, we discussed the need to expand the presence of the UN here and I am back today and we are expanding,” said Ruedas.

“More importantly, with today’s inauguration, we are showing that we are moving from an emergency focus to a development focus,” she added.

“We are expanding our presence in [Iraq and the Kurdistan Region] with the aim of promoting agriculture to help achieve economic growth, a stable society, food and nutrition security for all, and to improve the natural environment,” said FAO Chief Technical Advisor Rene Verduijn.

Reudas also specifically focused on the need for cooperation between a wide range of parties to ensure that there is clean water for Sulaimani and downstream communities.

“The water here is clean and it needs to leave Sulaimani clean as well. I think that that can happen and that you can use the water to the best effect for agriculture and still leave the water clean when it leaves here. I cannot say that that happens anywhere else in Iraq,” she said.

“I hope that with FAO and with the authorities here that we can find a way to make the agricultural sector boom and still manage to make that water clean when it leaves here.”

While industry rightly carries its share of blame for water pollution, agriculture is also responsible for contaminating Iraqi’s water resources through the use of pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals.

(NRT Digital Media)

UN Deputy Special Representative Marta Ruedas arrives at the new FAO office in Sulaimani of May 15, 2019. (NRT Digital Media)

 

FAO Chief Technical Advisor Rene Verduijn speaks at the opening of the FAO’s Sulaimani office on May 15, 2019. (NRT Digital Media)

 

Dignitaries, including Azad Mohammed Amin (third from right), gather to welcome First Lady of Iraq Sarbagh Salih and UN Deputy Special Representative Marta Ruedas at the new FAO office in Sulaimani of May 15, 2019. (NRT Digital Media)

(NRT Digital Media)