UN-ESCWA, represented by Executive Secretary Mervat Tallawy, and the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development (AAAID), represented by its president Mr. Abdul Kareem Mohammad Al Amri, signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the AAAID headquarters in Dubai on 13 March 2007.
Since UN-ESCWA promotes economic and social development through regional and subregional cooperation and integration, both parties agreed to implement activities that fall under their areas of specialization and that contribute to the realization of their common objectives. These activities include: developing and implementing agriculture development projects; preparing studies; holding scientific seminars and meetings; and organizing training workshops. In their joint work, the two partners will focus their efforts on marginalized populations and areas under conflict in the Arab countries.
In this context, both parties signed their first project document that will be financed by AAAID with a total budget of $250,000. The project aims to improve financing opportunities for existing and newly established micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in South Lebanon that are involved in agriculture and agro-industries. It also aims to improve the capacity of local entrepreneurs to manage and sustain these MSEs. The project will contain a revolving micro credit fund and a number of training activities.
UN-ESCWA and AAAID are preparing to implement a similar project that targets MSEs and cooperatives in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).