Ankara Turkey – The 1st Consultation Meeting on updating the Economic Cooperation Organization Regional Programme for Food Security (ECO-RPFS) was held on 9 December with the participation of the representatives of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), ECO-Regional Coordination Center for Food Security (ECO-RCC), representatives from the ECO member countries as well as FAO experts.
The purpose of the meeting was to present the draft framework of the new RPFS to the member countries, to have their comments and suggestions and their country priorities, and to identify the next steps. The new draft is prepared by the ECO-RCC with technical support from FAO through a project under the FAO – Turkey Partnership Programme on Food and Agriculture (FTPP II) funded by the Government of the Republic of Turkey.
Once finalized, implementing ECO-RPFS will be followed up by the ECO-Regional Coordination Center for Food Security (ECO-RCC) which was established in Ankara in 2012 with a view to enhance cooperation and coordination among the ECO Member Countries in the area of food security.
The virtual meeting started with opening speeches by Ahmet Volkan Güngören, ECO-RCC Coordinator and Viorel Gutu, Subregional Coordinator for Central Asia and FAO Representative in Turkey. Güngören emphasized that current challenges of food security are more complex than before. He added that as there are various ways of addressing food security challenges, ECO-RCC is responding these challenges in a regional context and with cooperation.
Gutu underlined the importance of ECO’s work on food security by mentioning that the ECO involves countries from Europe, Caucuses and Central Asia, Middle East and South Asia, covers 8 million square kilometers on which 460 million people live. “While we are fighting against COVID-19 pandemic, discussing food security under the umbrella of ECO is very meaningful that touch upon nearly a half billion lives” added Gutu.
, The representatives from ECO Member Countries shared their comments and suggestions on the draft framework of the new RPFS. Participating in the meeting Keigo Obara, Food Security Officer of FAO Subregional Office informed the participants on the role of ECO-RCC as a food security information hub for ECO Member Countries and shared his views on the current food security situation by taking the effects of COVID-19 pandemic into account.