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Project strengthens food safety systems in five countries of Europe and Central Asia

Unsafe food is a major threat to human health and economies globally. A new project has been kicked off to strengthen official food safety control and risk communication systems in Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Tajikistan, and Turkey.

Implemented under the FAO-Turkey Partnership Programme on Food and Agriculture, funded by Turkey, the project will carry out regional capacity development events, as well as country-level activities.

Effective food control systems cover all stages of food production and processing from farm-to-table, as food safety should be considered at every step of the value chain – from producers and vendors to consumers.

In recent years, participating countries have taken significant steps to improve their food control systems as part of building more sustainable food systems. Recognizing that the food safety control systems of these countries are at different stages of development, the project will focus on specific country needs, as well as on several common challenges from a regional perspective.

To achieve the expected results, the project will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experiences among the countries, who can also benefit from Turkish expertise.

According to estimates from the World Health Organization, food-borne diseases make some 600 million people sick and cause 420 000 deaths each year. Effective food safety and quality control systems are key not only to safeguard the health and well-being of people, but also to foster economic development and improve livelihoods by promoting access to wider markets.

The project will be a step forward towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals supporting the countries to improve their food safety systems to ensure safe food for all.

About the FAO-Turkey Partnership Programmes

The objectives of the FAO-Turkey Partnership Programmes are to provide support to ensure food security, rural poverty reduction, and sustainable forest management; combat desertification; and preserve ecosystems in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, and beyond.

Established in 2007, the first phase of the FAO-Turkey Partnership Programme on Food and Agriculture benefited from trust fund contributions totalling USD 10 million, financed by the Government of Turkey and represented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. In 2014, Turkey and FAO commenced the second phase, along with the first phase of the FAO-Turkey Forestry Partnership Programme, with an additional fund of USD 20 million, bringing Turkey’s total contribution to USD 30 million.

Picture credit: FAO

This story was originally published by FAO.