There is a long history of cooperation between ICARDA and CIHEAM since the signature of the first MoU in September 1999 in Aleppo. Both organizations work on investing in the rural sector to foster employability in order to address the challenges facing the region and help mitigating the deep actual crisis. They both consider of utmost importance of promoting inter-institutional coordination and cooperation in order to contribute to the elaboration and implementation of a strategic program for the agricultural sector and rural areas of the region.
In November 2015, ICARDA and CIHEAM have renewed in Beirut, their strategic partnership in ten major fields in the agricultural sector, including adaptation to climate change, inclusive growth and empowerment of youth, women and smallholders in rural areas. The Memorandum of Understanding aims at strengthening dialogue and activities in the development of human resources, research and information systems in a very strategic moment for the Mediterranean and West Asian regions, which are presently marked by security crises, unemployment in rural areas, natural resources scarcity and climate change.