Qatar yesterday took a major step towards achieving food security for dryland countries by making Doha the new headquarters of the Global Dryland Alliance.
The agreement for this was signed by HE the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi and GDA Executive Director Ambassador Bader al-Dafa. 
The GDA initiative was put forward by His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani during his speech at the 68th UN General Assembly in 2013.
The GDA aims to provide support to researches and new innovations of member states and to implement the results. The alliance also aims to provide the best practices that can be shared with dryland countries around the world.
After the signing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson HE Lulwah al-Khater said food security for dryland countries would result in further stability and peace around the world. 
GDA also aims to co-operate with local, regional and international partners to find solutions and spread and implement them in order to face challenges related to agriculture, water and energy in dryland countries, the spokesperson added. 
She said the alliance aims to engage in joint research and technological innovation relevant to the members’ agricultural, water and energy needs. It also aims to co-ordinate with the private sector to implement and spread innovative solutions related to food security, exchange the benefits of new technological and research innovations with the least developed dryland countries in an effort to reduce hunger and poverty. 
The spokesperson added that some land will be allocated to set up storage for cattle, a farm and a laboratory to conduct research on desert and dryland.
Al-Dafa said the alliance is not an alternative to organisations that work in this field, but complements their efforts and will work in full co-ordination and consultation with them in the area of food security for dryland countries. 
He said there was an urgent need to intensify the efforts in developing food security programmes, as the world population increases by 200,000 per day, with a gap between consumption and agriculture investment, as well as climate challenges that impose a difficult reality on dryland countries.

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