Global Agriculture

Complementarity and Collaboration Are “key and Evident” Director-general Says

22 June 2024, Rome: Complementarity and strong collaboration between the three Rome-based United Nations agencies is both “key and evident” in tackling emergency food insecurity situations, FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said today at the Seventh Informal Joint Meeting of the FAO Council, IFAD Executive Board and WFP Executive Board.

“Our joint collaboration is needed to continue the transition from crises interventions to longer-term development: from humanitarian aid to development aid – this is the real business change,” Qu said.

The informal gathering of pivotal governing bodies of the Food and Agriculture Organization the international Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme, all based in Rome. Offered a chance to exchange insights on how to intensify and optimize collaboration between the three agencies. This year UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed participated, as did IFAD President Alvaro Lario and WFP Executive Director Cindy McCain.

FAO’s Director-General pointed to two examples of successful collaboration.

First, the UN Food Systems Coordination Hub, based in Rome and hosted at FAO, plays a critical role in aligning country-level actions to address global challenges.

Second, the GEF-8 Food Systems Integrated Programme of the Global Environmental Facility, a $260 million initiative led jointly by FAO and IFAD, which is dedicated to supporting 32 countries in transforming their agrifood systems to be more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable.

“The increase in magnitude and severity of global food insecurity requires a redoubling and scaling up of our joint efforts for an efficient, effective and coherent response,” Qu said.

He noted that FAO has worked with partners in 23 high-risk countries to implement anticipatory action schemes to protect people from the impact of El Niño, and that now FAO and WFP have finalized a joint Anticipatory Action Strategy to ensure a more structured, systematic, and strategic approach to anticipating food crises.

“We cannot continue business as usual, we cannot work in isolation,” he said.

The informal joint meeting will focus on three main agenda items. One is to review achievements and updates following the signing of the new five-year tripartite memorandum of understanding by the RBAs, taking the Joint Sahel Programme as a case study. The second is to review operational updates on humanitarian support activities in Gaza, Haiti, and Sudan. The third will be to discuss global-level cooperation to eradicate hunger and discuss RBA input into the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the Summit of the Future, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

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