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Social Protection Division (ESP)

©FAO/A. K. Kimoto

The Social Protection Division (ESP) coordinates FAO’s work on social protection, gender equality, decent rural employment, rural institutions and people’s empowerment. It is responsible for working with member countries and other partners to reduce rural poverty through strengthening social protection systems, reducing gender gaps and other social inequalities in agriculture and access to rural services. It empowers people through strengthening rural institutions and organizations and promoting decent rural employment.


The functions of the Division are performed through the Strategic Objective 3 (SO3) Team; the Social Protection (SOCPRO) Team; the Gender Team; the Decent Rural Employment (DRE) Team and the Rural Institutions and People’s Empowerment (RIPE) Team.

The Strategic Objective 3 (S03) Team
which coordinates and manages FAO's programme for reducing rural poverty.

Contact: Mr Rob Vos

The Social Protection (SOCPRO) Team
supports countries in extending social protection systems to rural areas and making them effective to enhance food security and reduce rural poverty.

Contact: Mr Vito Cistulli

The Gender Team
is responsible for strengthening the capacity of governments and other stakeholders to formulate gender-sensitive agricultural and rural development policies and programmes. The team also coordinates FAO's cross-cutting theme to empower women and
reduce gender inequalities in agriculture and rural development.

Contact: Ms Regina Laub
Ms Susan Kaaria

The Decent Rural Employment (DRE) Team

works with governments and other national stakeholders to improve rural people's opportunities to access decent farm and non-farm employment.

Contact: Mr Peter Wobst

The Rural Institutions and Peoples’ Empowerment (RIPE) Team

supports countries in strengthening rural institutions and organizations and in empowering rural women and men through participatory and community-driven approaches.

Contact: Ms Carol Djeddah