The World Food Programme

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

©FAO/Syria/2017/Mazen Haffar

Photo: A women supporting her family in Tartous governorate has restored her livelihood with the tomato seeds and irrigation kit provided by FAO.

The cooperation between FAO and the Syria Arab Republic started with the establishment of FAO in 1945.  In 1978, FAO opened its representation office in Damascus, to provide technical assistance and normative support for enhancing agricultural production and rural development.  Over the years, FAO has contributed to the development of agricultural techniques and the capacities of farmers and agricultural institutions, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform (MAAR, FAO’s strategic counterpart.

Since the onset of the crisis in Syria in 2011, FAO has provided support to more than 3 million farmers to restore their food and agricultural production capacity, and strengthen their resilience for food and nutrition security.  Over 200,000 tons of wheat grain have been produced by local farmers to cover the cereal needs of more than 1 million people; over 11 million heads of livestock were provided with veterinary care, benefiting some 1. 4 million herders; and over 600,000 people benefited from household vegetable and poultry production in improving their diet.  Still much support is required to address the mounting needs of over 10 million people who are food insecure in Syria today.

FAO continues providing technical support to the Ministry of Agriculture and line-ministries to enhance coordination among the different stakeholders’ interventions in the sector.  FAO is currently preparing for a comprehensive review of the agriculture sector, with a view to developing policy options for formulating development programmes and projects beyond humanitarian interventions.

FAO has six sub-offices in Syria in Rural Damascus, Homs, Hama, the coastal region, Aleppo, and Al- Hassakah; served by 45 staff members.  It works closely with eight national and one international non-governmental organizations.

In July 2018, Mike Robson was appointed as FAO Syria Representative.