OIC Launches Food Security Foundation

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has launched a Food Security Foundation to help coordinate agricultural policies in member countries and support water resource management technologies to boost agricultural production.The foundation will also provide expertise in rural development, irrigation and food security issues to OIC members, and assess and monitor the food security situation in OIC member states in order to recommend appropriate emergency and humanitarian assistance, including creation of food reserves.

More than 60 experts from OIC member countries met recently in Kazakhstan to discuss the objectives of the foundation.

Agriculture contributes 27 percent of the GDP of OIC member countries.

 “There is an urgent need to address the twin institutional and operational gaps in the cooperation framework of OIC countries in the domains of agriculture, rural development and food security,” said the organization’s secretary general, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.

The headquarters of the new foundation will be located in Turkey, and a food security reserve center will be established in Djibouti.

Established in 1969, OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations. Its members include 57 states spread over four continents.

In February, the OIC increased the capital of the Islamic Development Bank, the main financier of development projects in member countries, to $5.8 billion USD.