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Migration is the movement of people, either within a country or across international borders. It includes all kinds of movements, irrespective of the drivers, duration and voluntary/involuntary nature. It encompasses economic migrants, distress migrants, internally displaced persons (IDPs) refugees and asylum seekers, returnees and people moving for other purposes, including for education and family reunification.

FAO and migration

The drivers and impacts of migration are intimately linked to FAO’s global goals of fighting hunger and achieving food security, reducing rural poverty and promoting the sustainable use of natural resources. FAO has a unique role to play in reducing rural migration, in view of its experience in supporting the creation of better conditions and resilient livelihoods in rural areas. Together with its partners, FAO also commits to further expand its work towards strengthening the positive contribution that migrants, refugees and IDPs are bringing for poverty reduction, food security and nutrition, and resilience of rural households.

Concerted action on migration

  • Migration should be a choice, not a necessity. International cooperation should address the structural drivers of large movements of people and create conditions that allow communities to live in peace and prosperity in their homelands.
  • Agriculture and rural development can address the root causes of migration, including rural poverty, food insecurity, inequality, unemployment, lack of social protection as well as natural resource depletion due to environmental degradation and climate change.
  • Investing in sustainable rural development, climate change adaptation and resilient rural livelihoods is an important part of the global response to the current migration challenge.
  • Working with governments, UN agencies, the private sector, civil society and local communities, FAO plays an important role in addressing the root causes of internal and international migration and displacement and in harnessing the developmental potential of migration, especially in terms of food security and poverty reduction.

Resilience building in protracted crises

FAO has considerable experience in addressing migration in both developmental contexts and protracted crises. Agricultural and rural development can contribute to address the root causes of migration and build the resilience of both displaced and host communities, laying the ground for long-term recovery.

FAO works with relevant stakeholders to strengthen their capacities to provide viable livelihood opportunities in agriculture and rural areas in countries in protracted crises. It also protects the right to food of all people on the move, while fostering their integration and strengthening the social and economic resilience of host communities.  Working with its partners and using resilient agricultural livelihoods as a key instrument, FAO plays an important role in:

i) addressing the factors that compel people to move, especially those linked to natural disasters, conflicts over natural resources and environmental and livelihood deterioration in rural areas;

ii) strengthening resilience of both displaced people and host communities and

iii) harnessing the positive contribution of migrants and displaced people and fostering their integration.

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