The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region faces a number of very distinct food security challenges. The region is the most food import dependent region in the world, the population is projected to double by 2050, unemployment, poverty and malnutrition levels are high. Agricultural production and economywide growth face severe constraints: MENA is the most water scarce region in the world, the region is projected to be hard hit by climate change, and conflicts continue to disrupt development and displace people.
IFPRI is in a unique position to provide policy solutions to address these challenges. The prioritization of research activities follows IFPRI’s overall mission and strategy and is based on consultations with stakeholders and an analysis of gaps in existing regional research activities. Specifically, research activities will focus on (1) guiding globalization, and trade and market policies; (2) water and natural resource management; (3) strategies and governance for pro-poor and job‐creating economic development; and (4) social protection. IFPRI’s research will focus on countries that are most food insecure and resource‐poor in the region.
IFPRI will support communication in MENA countries and actively engage in policy dialogue. IFPRI will strive to enhance dialogue, partnerships, and networks between individuals and institutions involved in research, the private sector, civil society, and government by using a wide range of available communication tools. Capacity strengthening efforts will enhance the capacities of institutions and individuals to design, implement, monitor, and evaluate programs and policies for food security and agricultural development. Priority will be given to thematic capacity and analytical and research capacity.