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Foro Global sobre Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición • Foro FSN

Re: Call for experiences and effective policy approaches in addressing food security and nutrition in the context of changing rural-urban dynamics

Stephanie Loose
Stephanie Loose UN-HabitatKenya

Dear CFS secretariat,

Kindly find our submission for the call below.

Best regards,

Stephanie Loose

Regional and Metropolitan Planning Unit Urban Planning & Design Branch
United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)


UN-HABITAT in partnership with United Nations Economic Commission of Africa (UNECA) and United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), associated partners include the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and other international development partners.

Main responsible entity
UN-Habitat, Urban Planning and Design Branch, Regional and Metropolitan Planning Unit

2018-2019 (tbd, the project might start late 2018 only)

Funding source
UN Development Acount

4 African Countries (countries to be defined, proposal: Cameroon, Nigeria, Tanzania (Zanzibar), Guinea Conakry)

Leaving No Place Behind: Strengthening Urban-Rural Linkages in Africa: National Urban Policies for strengthened Urban-Rural Linkages.
One component for changing urban-rural dynamics is enhancing rural urbanization and strengthening the role of small and intermediate cities for a balanced territorial approach. Small and intermediate cities play a crucial role as market point and are therefore strongly linked to Food Security Chains (both being entry points to the theme of Urban-Rural Linkages among several others such as flows of people, products and information; migration and mobility; regional and territorial spatial planning, etc.).

Progress on SDG 2 (End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture) can, according to FAO, only be achieved by progressing on other SDGs. SDG 11, target 11.a. aims for Member States to “Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, per-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning” and by adopting the New Urban Agenda (para 95) Member States committed to “ …support the implementation of integrated, polycentric and balanced territorial development policies and plans, encouraging cooperation and mutual support among different scales of cities and human settlements; strengthening the role of small and intermediate cities and towns in enhancing food security and nutrition systems;…”

Most National (Urban) Policies are yet to combine food security issues with spatial planning. UN-Habitat therefore proposes to support countries to develop and implement “integrated, polycentric and balanced territorial development policies and plans”, aiming to enhancing food security by making small and intermediate cities a strong element in National Urban Policies.

One strategy to foster a balanced territorial development is integrating it into a National Urban Policy. With this proposal for UN Development Account funds, UN-Habitat aiming to support 4 African Countries in developing and integrating Urban-rural linkages into a National Urban Policy.

Key characteristics of the experience/process
Main objective of the project: To build and strengthen capacities of policy makers and change agents at all levels to collect and use evidence for fostering cross-sectoral, multilevel frameworks and action plans for integrated and inclusive territorial development that promotes urban-rural linkages and reduces the development gap. One strategy for integrated and balanced territorial development is changing the urbanrural dynamics and enhancing capacities of key actors in small and intermediate cities, in their role as market places as well as first access points for the rural population for administrative, economic, finance, educational and medical services. Promoting the rural urbanization will have a strong impact on food production chains and food security for both, rural and urban population.

Key actors involved and their role
UN-Habitat and our partners to provide advisory services to the African Countries selected in regards

- Enhanced the capacities of policy makers to collect evidence needed to develop national and regional urban development frameworks that support the integration of urban-rural linkages;

- Enhanced capacities of policy makers to utilize this evidence for developing policies that strengthen urban-rural linkages; Specific roles of the partners within the project need to be defined.

Key changes observed with regards to food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture and food systems
Strengthened urban –rural linkages will enhance the connectivity and flow of people, information and products (such as agricultural products). Due to changing diets and as well as a higher demand for processed food, new priorities need to be set – and planned for also in the spatial context. National urban policies with a focus on urban-rural linkages will support a balanced territorial development and have an impact on food supply chains and food systems.

Challenges faced
(The project has not yet started).

Assumptions for challenges that will be faced:

- Available data

- National governments need to promote decentralization

- Integration of all stakeholder in the process

- Governance issues –

 Long-term process


Lessons/Key messages

Lessons: …The project has not yet started.

Key messages:

- Enhanced urban-rural linkages impact Food security for both, urban and rural population.

- Strengthened Urban-rural linkages will help to bridge the development gap and promote equality.

- Changing urban-rural dynamics need to be linked to national frameworks and can not only be addressed by local governments.

- National Urban Policies are one tool for ensuring and promoting a balanced territorial development.