Dra. Mai Alkaila, Ambassador of the State of Palestine in Italy, has been appointed Permanent Representative of the State of Palestine to the three United Nations Organizations based in Rome, FAO, IFAD and WFP on 30 March 2015.

The three UN organizations, in their congresses and official meetings, face various issues of interest to Palestine, such as:  food security, malnutrition, food waste, droughts and water shortages, prolonged crises in Arab and neighbouring countries, civil wars after the “Arab Spring”, natural disasters, family farming, climate change, and archaeological heritage.

With regards to the World Food Programme, the Embassy has contributed to the definition of issues and objectives for developing countries such as the elimination of hunger and the achievement of sustainable development through the exchange of experiences, skills, information and good practices.

Particular attention has been paid to the issue of gender equality and the protection of vulnerable and marginalized groups, such as refugees and displaced individuals, to protect them from all forms of violence. The Emergency Plan has also been approved to support the Syrian people until the end of the crisis, in accordance with International Law.

Gender equality and resilience of communities were at the heart of the WFP Executive Council’s Annual Session (25-28/05/2015), which focused on so-called “triangular cooperation”, a type of innovative cooperation inspired by South-South cooperation, which represents an important tool for promoting the homogeneous development of a region, which benefits both middle and low-income countries. It consists in transferring the knowledge gained by those countries now considered to enjoy an average income, and generally promotes the exchange and sharing of information and experience among all actors involved.

The first Annual Session of the Executive Board in 2016, held on 8-10/02/2016, focussed on the assessment and approval of an economic project regarding the State of Palestine by highlighting food security.

During the discussion it emerged that the basic problem of the Palestinian people is Israeli occupation; that it is necessary to support the resistance of the Palestinian people with particular attention to agriculture and farmers; that we must respect and comply with international and humanitarian law by trying to apply them; that gender equality in this country is very important and therefore we need to support the production activities handled by women; that it is crucial to help the Palestinian people access their natural resources, especially water.

In her speech, the Ambassador of the State of Palestine underlined the following points: the suffering of Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is the result of Israeli occupation which steals fertile farmland from Palestinians to build illegal settlements; the Apartheid Wall contributes to stealing much of Palestinian agricultural territories; the isolation of the Gaza Strip from the outside world, which lasts from many years, prevents fishermen from exercising their daily work to support their families; Israeli occupiers never cease to steal  water from the Palestinians.

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