The Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS) celebrated December 12 as IOFS Day, during which it presented the results of all the work accomplished during the year, and also held a briefing on the main outcomes of the “Year of Africa”. The diplomatic corps and experts from more than 20 countries, as well as representatives of the international media, arrived in Astana to participate in the forum.
“I would like to invite all Member States and international organizations to become our partners in the implementation of the Africa Food Security Initiative (AFSI), which is the result of the resounding success of the IOFS Year of Africa in 2022. Therefore, IOFS will continue to support Africa’s commitment to a sustainable food system through its projects and programmes. I hope that we will succeed, but I firmly believe that our efforts will be more effective with your support,” said IOFS General Director H.E. Yerlan Baidaulet in his welcoming speech.
The forum participants noted the position of IOFS as a key platform for coordinating all flows of food security programs in the countries of the Islamic world. The young organization, according to the guests of the forum, has great potential and provides a timely response to the growing global challenges of the food crisis in the world.
“Today’s issue of ensuring stable food security is becoming more relevant every year, goes beyond local cooperation, becoming a priority area of interstate cooperation. A special role in building effective interstate cooperation is assigned to international organizations. Therefore, the key role of such an organization as IOFS is seen in consolidating the joint efforts of the OIC member countries to carry out coordinated actions, and most importantly, to take sustainable and long-term measures to address food security and combat hunger in our region,” stated the representative of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The year 2022 has been chosen as the “Year of Africa” by the Islamic Food Security Organization. IOFS believes that food security in Africa can be achieved if all international, regional and national institutions supported by IOFS Member States join forces to achieve this goal. IOFS calls for “commitment to work together to achieve concrete results to improve food systems in Africa.”
Throughout the year, the Organization worked with African governments and other partners to develop the African agricultural sector and implement its strategic programs.
It is important to emphasize that the reason for choosing the main theme is related to the fact that Africa is not on track to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 to end hunger, ensure that all people have access to safe, nutritious and adequate food all year round and eliminate all forms of malnutrition. In addition, the number of hungry people in Africa has increased by 47.9 million since 2014 and now stands at 250.3 million, or almost a fifth of the population.
IOFS is convinced that demonstrating the active solidarity of Member States with those in desperate need in Africa and the determination to commit to providing the focus on their food security and agricultural development in this very difficult and critical period in the history of the continent should be the top priority of IOFS and needs to be implemented without further delay.
It should be noted that the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, pays special attention to ensuring food security both at the global and regional levels. At the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, President Tokayev announced “the intention to strengthen cooperation with the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS), as well as with UN agencies”, with the aim of providing worldwide assistance in the formation of food reserves for large-scale international humanitarian actions through the IOFS.
During the CICA Summit (October 10-11, 2022, Astana), the President of Kazakhstan noted: “We need to develop unified approaches to assess the compliance of significant products with national standards, as well as create “green” corridors between CICA member states for this category of goods” . Tokayev noted that a promising direction for CICA is to establish cooperation with the Islamic Organization for Food Security, whose headquarters is located in Astana. IOFS extends its gratitude and recognition to the partners who have worked in various venues for the benefit of African Member States in conjunction with the IOFS.
On the official invitation by the government of Kazakhstan, Mr. Khalid Taimur Akram attended the event by the ‘’Organization of Food Security” in Astana, Kazakhstan.