Egypt’s ambassador to Canada Ahmed Hafez participated in the “Canadian agri-food in a hungry world: Canada’s role in the changing geopolitical landscape”, conference.
It is organised by the Canadian Institute for Agrarian Food Policy (CAPI) in collaboration with the Canadian Institute of Global Affairs (CGAI) and the Canadian Alliance for Agri-food Trade (CAFTA).
The Egyptian ambassador participated as keynote speaker in a panel discussion on the state of food security in today’s world, where the Director of the World Food Program Office (WFP) in Canada and the Director-General of the Club Demeter spoke.
Ambassador Hafez has been keen to highlight the effects of successive international crises and the challenges facing the world and their intertwining, especially climate change and the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and its repercussions.
He also reviewed the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economies that are still recovering from it, as well as the significant cost to the global economy, especially the developing countries, represented by the rise in energy prices and the costs associated with the disruption of supply chains around the world, including the resulting rise in commodity prices and the effects of inflation and its economic repercussions.
This compounded the challenges faced by the agriculture and food security sector in Egypt and many developing countries.
The Egyptian Ambassador noted the close relationship between food security and important water security, with the importance of focusing on supporting, developing and upgrading food systems in terms of their resilience to various disruptions and challenges of climate change, encouraging the necessary financing means, as well as working towards maintaining trade flows and access of goods and food products to the neediest countries.
In this regard,” Hafez “highlighted the success of the twenty-seventh conference of the parties to the UN Framework Convention on climate change (COP27), held in Sharm el-Sheikh recently in adopting pivotal decisions to address the negative impact of climate change on agriculture and the aggravation of the global food crisis, especially in developing countries.
Ambassador Hafez reviewed all the efforts made by Egypt over the past years within the framework of its various national initiatives to strengthen the agriculture sector and promote food security, in terms of expanding the agricultural area to deal with the needs of basic agricultural crops such as wheat and cereals.
He also reviewed the efforts of the Egyptian state to establish modern silos for Strategic Storage, as well as to continue pursuing modern and innovative technological programs for agricultural adaptation and irrigation systems.
Ambassador Hafez stressed that all this would not have happened without the responsible measures taken by the Egyptian government in the field of macroeconomic management through sound financial and banking policies to strengthen the Egyptian economy and its resilience and to support the activity of the private sector.
This is in parallel with the recognition of the importance of the social dimension and the support of the sectors that are most vulnerable.
On the axes that represent Egypt’s vision to enhance food security around the world, Ambassador Hafez highlighted the most prominent roadmap addressed by the president of the Republic during the session on enhancing food security and strengthening food systems at the recent African/American summit, including the importance of developing mechanisms to alleviate the debt burden of all kinds.
It is also important to intensify agricultural investment in Africa and to encourage financing on favourable terms so as to develop the productive capacities of African countries and support their resilience with access to modern technology, as well as to maintain the openness of world trade.
The one-day conference, held in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, brought together a wide variety of Canadian and international officials and experts in the fields of agriculture, security, foreign affairs and trade to exchange views on the challenges facing food security around the world and the role Canada can play in addressing the crisis.