Jordanian Princess Basma bint Ali named UN farming goodwill ambassador

Distant cousin of King Abdullah II has promoted conservation in Jordan

Farmers work on a lettuce plot at Faisal Farm in Jerash, Jordan. Reuters

A Rome-based UN organisation specialising in farming and eradicating famine named on Wednesday a member of the Jordanian royal family as goodwill ambassador in the Middle East.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said Princess Basma bint Ali, a distant cousin of King Abdullah II, will help it “raise awareness about the importance of transforming the world's agrifood systems, to overcome the challenges of persisting and growing hunger".

FAO Director General Qu Dongyu said Princess Basma “has systematically raised awareness among Jordanians and all the people of the Near East and North Africa about the importance of preserving native plants and ecosystems".

Jordan is an arid country of 10 million people facing many environmental problems, including illegal water wells and the drying up of the Dead Sea.

Princess Basma is the granddaughter of Prince Nayef, half-brother of the late King Talal of Jordan, who ruled the kingdom in the early 1950s and died in Turkey two decades later.

She heads the board of trustees of the Hashemite Fund for Development for Jordan's Badia regions.

A biography provided by the FAO says she also founded the Royal Botanic Garden of Jordan and the Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan.

She also served in the Jordanian army for 12 years.

Updated: April 27, 2022, 5:24 PM