ICARDA and the CIHEAM have signed their first MoU in September 1999 in Aleppo, Syria. Both organisations invest in the rural sector to foster employability to address regional challenges and to help mitigate the major current crisis. They both consider inter-institutional coordination and cooperation of utmost importance in the elaboration and implementation of a strategic program for the Mediterranean agricultural sector and rural areas.
In November 2015, ICARDA and the CIHEAM have renewed in Beirut, their strategic partnership in ten major fields including adaptation to climate change, inclusive growth and empowerment of youth, women and smallholders in rural areas. The MoU aims at strengthening dialogue and activities in the development of human resources, research and information systems at a very strategic time for the Mediterranean and West Asian regions, with a rise in security crises, unemployment in rural areas, natural resources scarcity and climate change.