Joint social, health, agricultural and nutrition initiatives in favour of afflicted populations; a better coordination of efforts through regular consultations and sharing information; development of training projects concerning nutrition and medicine. These are just some of the points in the memorandum of understanding recently signed in Rome between the Order of Malta and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
This agreement will foster cooperation between the two institutions who often find themselves promoting complementary initiatives. Initiatives involving assistance for isolated rural populations and relief actions for the numerous states or regions affected by wars or natural disasters, such as Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, the Asian countries hit by the tsunami, those of central America devastated by the hurricanes and Africa with its chronic food crisis.
The memorandum was signed in the FAO headquarters in Rome by Jean-Pierre Mazery, Grand Chancellor of the Order of Malta and by Jacques Diouf, Director General of the FAO.
Pointing out that the Sovereign Military Order of Malta has had its own permanent mission to the FAO since 1983, the Order’s Grand Chancellor stressed in his speech that: «As stressed in our agreement, health and nutrition issues are inextricably linked. We thus have to double our efforts to find a solution. We must do all we can either to prevent emergency situations or, failing this, to help in reconstruction and lasting development. We sincerely hope for a close cooperation with the FAO, because we are convinced that this will strengthen the effectiveness of our humanitarian aid».