Moroccan Ambassador to Italy Leads UN Hand in Hand Initiative to Fight Poverty

Hand and Hand Initiative, Morocco

In a ceremony held on October 25, 2019, in Rabat, Youssef Balla, the Moroccan ambassador to Italy, was officially instated as the representative for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). At the meeting, Director General of the FAO,  Qu Dongyu, confirmed that the specialized United Nations agency would like to assist Morocco in both the private sector and with fighting poverty and hunger. They will do this through the Hand and Hand initiative. The new FAO program was presented at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. It aims to accelerate Sustainable Development Goals and to end poverty and hunger by matching the most and least developed countries.

At the October meeting, Balla noted the various ways King Mohammed VI is working on building Morocco’s renewable energy, sustainability, and Green goals. He emphasized that Morocco wants to be a leader in the African continent and share their progress and knowledge with other countries.

The FAO is a special division of the United Nations and located in Rome, Italy. Morocco and Italy have a strong relationship.

Previously in a September 2019 meeting between Italian President Sergio Matarella and Balla, the Moroccan ambassador was asked to convey Italy’s friendship with Morocco to King Mohammed VI. Matarella also issued a statement saying that Morocco is a welcoming, tolerant and stable country. He confirmed that the “Moroccan community in Italy is an important cultural and human bridge, and a promoter of economic development.”

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