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A high level meeting was this morning held between the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to discuss their long term working relationship, and to strategize on how the two organizations will continue to implement and work towards border security, drought resilience, food security and nutrition, as well as research on resilience.

The FAO delegation was led by Dr. Patrick Kormawa, the Addis Ababa-based Sub-Regional Coordinator for Eastern Africa and FAO Representative to AU and UNECA, Mr. Jose Lopez; Resilience Coordinator for Eastern Africa based in Nairobi, and Mr. Dominique Burgeon, Strategic Program Leader and Director of Emergency and Rehabilitation Division based in Rome, and Madame Emmanuelle GuerneBleich, FAO Representative to Djibouti.

The Executive Secretary of IGAD; His Excellency Amb (Eng) Mahboub Maalim, in his welcoming remarks acknowledged the importance of partnership and collaboration with organizations such as FAO in handling issues like drought, food insecurity, border security and management, climate change and all other challenges facing the IGAD region where FAO has competencies is vital to be able to achieve tangible results.

Mr. Dominique Burgeon pointed out that early response to emergencies is a top priority to FAO. Therefore there is need to work together with IGAD and other organizations to mitigate the diverse effects that could affect over 29 million people under the crisis, and emergency levels hence require preparedness, quick response and recovery in order to save lives, livelihoods and maintain peace in the IGAD region.

The high level delegates from the two organizations recommended that there is need to support better integrated, early response and resilience analysis and programming; take quick action to mitigate the drought issues; involve other organizations and UN entities for greater impact and resource mobilization; build capacity in order for the research analysis to be shared and used for reference with a future vision of setting up a Centre of Excellence in the region as well as continue to pay special attention to limit large scale irregular migration and conflicts.

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