EGYPT – The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in collaboration with the European Union (EU), has embarked on a mission to bolster Egypt’s food control system through the “Strengthening of Capacities and Governance in Food and Phytosanitary Control” project.

With an extension granted by the EU, Egypt joins Djibouti as the latest beneficiary of this initiative, aiming to enhance public health, economic development, and trade within the region.

Initiated in December 2021, the 6.4-million-euro (U.S$6.9 million) project focuses on enhancing capabilities and governance in food safety and plant health.

Aligned with the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Policy Framework for Africa developed by the African Union (AU), the project seeks to facilitate trade among AU Member States. Co-signed by the Government of Egypt, the project underscores a collaborative effort to align national standards with international norms and foster regional harmonization.

FAO, in partnership with Egypt since 1978, introduces the FAO/WHO Food Control System Assessment Tool to evaluate Egypt’s food control system comprehensively.

Driven by a long-standing partnership, FAO aims to enhance policy frameworks and institutional capacities in agricultural and rural development.

Dr. Tareq Al-Houby, Chairman of the Egyptian National Food Safety Authority, highlights the project’s significance in achieving a unified and coherent system, essential for scientific-based compliance and international standards adherence.

The project’s inception and training workshop in Cairo engaged focal points of Competent Authorities, fostering discussions, presentations, and case studies. Participants expressed enthusiasm for the assessment process, recognizing its potential to identify food safety priorities and strengthen the overall system.

Ms. Hanan Fouad Hamed, Manager of Food Standards and Codex Unit at the Standards and Quality Organization, emphasized how the assessment would aid in monitoring foodborne diseases and enhancing the system’s resilience.

The culmination of the assessment will involve stakeholders, experts, and officials convening to review findings, endorse recommendations, and develop a strategic action plan for implementation. This collaborative effort aims to shape the future of food safety in Egypt, aligning with international standards to promote greater harmonization and trade in the region.

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