Israel and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)  signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of agriculture.

 International conference on Israel and the African Green Revolution opens in Jerusalem


MASHAV Deputy DG Divon, Prof. Sachs and Gilbert Houngbo, Director of the UNDP's Bureau for Africa (Photo: Eyal Falah)

(Communicated by the MFA Spokesperson)

"Israel must make the transition from a state that receives aid to a state that gives aid," said Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General on Millennium Development Goals, at the opening of the International Conference on Israel and the African Green Revolution.

Sachs added that Africa would like to have Israel as a partner in the continent’s green revolution, and that Israel has the technological know-how that Africa needs in three main fields: agriculture, public health and medicine, and solar energy.

At the conference, which opened on Sunday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem, representatives from Israel and from the international community presented various approaches to agricultural development on the African continent and discussed how to effectively implement them in order to alleviate the present food and water crisis. Israel and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) also signed, for the first time, a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of agriculture.

Prof. Sachs, head of the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York, is a world-renowned economist and is especially prominent in the efforts to reduce poverty in underdeveloped areas of the world. In his speech, Prof. Sachs mentioned that hundreds of millions of people around the world suffer from hunger, lack of water, disease and unemployment despite the wealth, advanced technology and know-how that exist in today’s world. "All this causes instability and emigration," Prof. Sachs stated, "and instead of cooperating to find solutions to the problems, the world reacts with fear and builds walls."

The conference, which was organized by MASHAV, (the Center for International Cooperation, the Israeli body responsible for extending aid to developing countries), was attended by hundreds of delegates representing African states and international aid organizations, as well as MASHAV trainees in Israel and academics.