ITC and UN WFP Sign an Agreement to Promote Development and Strengthening of Entrepreneurship
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) signed an agreement on 6 March 2023 to collaborate on improving the efficiency and competitiveness of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in Iraq.
The partnership will leverage the technical support of ITC and community level presence and operational capacity of WFP to equip small holder farmers with climate adaptation tools to build competitiveness, develop agribusiness alliances for selected value chains and strengthen food systems in the country.
Increased local production and value addition activities will improve farmers' incomes and will create new jobs, promoting sustainable economic growth and helping Iraq achieve zero hunger goal for all.
"Our partnership underscores the importance of promoting private sector development, particularly that of micro small and medium-sized enterprises and developing agriculture value chains to end hunger and achieve food security. These efforts are crucial in our collective quest to eradicate poverty and achieve sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth in Iraq," said Eric Buchot, ITC Representative, Head of Country Programme, Iraq.
"This agreement will allow WFP to further help young Iraqi entrepreneurs and business owners, who brave the odds and choose to pursue their own livelihoods with and perseverance. We at WFP have strong faith in the future of private, small economies and the impact that they will have on diversifying the economy of Iraq," said WFP Iraq Representative, Mr. Ally Raza Qureshi. "With the expertise of our colleagues at ITC, we are confident that we'll be able to contribute greatly to strengthening the growing private sector of Iraq."
WFP is invested in promoting gender mainstreaming in collaboration with the Government of Iraq and key implementing partners. This is evident in the work done to support evidence-building and capacity strengthening the policies required best support vulnerable women and their families and to help mitigate and adopt to climate change, as women and children are facing the main brunt of its perceivable impact.
ITC is creating agribusiness alliances between farmers and major agri-food companies through the European Union funded Strengthening the Agriculture and Agri-food Value Chain and Improving Trade Policy (SAAVI) programme. Agribusiness alliances are strengthened with technical assistance, providing farmers with emphasis on women and youth, with support in adopting less resource-intensive agriculture, enhanced post-harvest practices, quality improvement and food safety standards in alignment with buyers' requirements. The five-year SAAVI project seeks to enhance competitiveness of agriculture and agri-food value chains and improve trade policy in Iraq. SAAVI is in close collaboration with the Government of Iraq, NRC, and other implementing partners.
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