FAO Opens New Sub-Regional Office in Lebanon

Beirut – Current crises in Syria, Iraq and Yemen are the prime culprit behind the doubling of undernourished people in the Near East, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said on Tuesday as he visited Beirut, where FAO is opening a new sub-regional office.

Lebanon and 14 other countries in the Near East and North Africa region achieved the Millennium Development Goal of halving hunger rates by 2015, but food security problems have grown in absolute terms due to civil conflicts in the region.

Enhancing Cooperation with Russia to Rehabilitate Syrian Economy

Moscow, (ST) - During a visit to Moscow, Minister of Communications and Technology Dr. Ali al-Dafeer and Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources, Eng. Ali Ghanem, held a series of meetings and interviews with the Russian officials and private agencies. The two parties agreed on strengthening cooperation in the field of rehabilitation and modernization of the infrastructure of the Syrian economy and starting new projects.

In an interview with local press in Moscow, Minister al-Dafeer pointed out that he discussed the Minister of Communications and Media Nikolay Nikiforov ways of cooperation between the two countries and signed a contract to the development of e-government project in Syria, noting the advanced capabilities of Russia in this area.

FAO Food Price Index dips slightly in November


ROME - The FAO Food Price Index dipped slightly in November, marking a mild departure from its steady rise over the course of 2016.

The Index declined 0.4 percent from October, averaging 171.3 points in November, as a sharp drop in sugar prices outweighed an increase in palm oil quotations.

FAO's Food Price Index, a trade-weighted index tracking international market prices for five major food commodity groups, is still 10.4 percent higher than in November 2015.

The FAO Sugar Price Index fell 8.9 percent from October, reflecting reports of a higher-than-expected harvest in Brazil, the world's largest sugar producer, and a weakening of the Brazilian real with respect to the U.S. dollar.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index rose 4.5 percent in the month, led by lower-than-anticipated production of palm oil in Southeast Asia as well as below-potential soybean crushing of  in South America.

Premier Lays Foundation Stone of a Number of Projects in Lattakia

LATTAKIA-Prime Minister Imad Khamis on Saturday laid the foundation stone for the projects of rebuilding Ibrahim Naameh Hospital in Jableh city in Lattakia, with an overall cost of SYP 1.23 billion and Faqi Hassan Dam in Ras al-Basit coastal area in the northern countryside of Lattakia with a cost of SYP 3 billion and a capacity of 1.5 million cubic meters, according to SANA.

As he listened to the demands of citizens, Premier Khamis said the government accords great attention to securing the needs of martyrs’ families, revealing that the government is currently working on devising a mechanism for providing jobs for their families.

PM: Providing Facilitations to Enhance Economic Sectors in Aleppo

Damascus, (ST) - Prime Minister Imad Khamis chaired yesterday a meeting, which included chairman and members of the Aleppo Chambers of Commerce. The meeting aimed at drawing up a vision to activate the economic sectors in the city of Aleppo, to raise the level of these sectors' performance because they represent one of the most important partners in the development process and to activate the participatory role between the business sector and the government.