FAO, IFAD and WFP launch food security strategy

Leveraging the combined expertise and comparative advantages of the three Rome based food agencies

16 November 2009, Rome - On the eve of the World Summit on Food Security, the governing bodies of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have all approved a strategy for collaboration between the three agencies.

The joint ground-breaking strategy escalates cooperative programmes and strategies to implement comprehensive, sustainable food security solutions to help feed one billion hungry people. This decision culminates a two-year effort to advance joint action to help developing nations address food insecurity by investing in agriculture and safety nets, to address hunger exacerbated by the food and financial crises and climate change.

It also follows an historic senior staff summit on November 4, led by the heads of the three agencies where it was decided that special attention will be paid to joint action operational activities in the field to help countries create comprehensive food security strategies.

"Leveraging the combined expertise and comparative advantages of the three Rome based food agencies is crucial to achieve results and the historic opportunities created by the L'Aquila food security initiative and the reform of CFS," say Diouf, Nwanze and Sheeran.

"Our experience and success of working together with the UN family, International Financial Institutions and other partners to scale up aid to millions of smallholders and other vulnerable people hit by higher food prices, and to support the implementation of the Euro 1 billion EU food facility, confirm the key and indispensable role of the agencies in the global food security architecture," say the three Rome heads.

The agencies will address overlaps, find additional synergies and become more efficient. This builds on a portfolio of 400 activities involving collaboration in more than 70 countries. All areas of work are being addressed. In the administrative area, collaboration is aimed at achieving cost reduction, efficiency savings, streamlined business processes and knowledge sharing. Joint tendering  and the piloting of  a common procurement unit starting in January 2010 are a few examples.

Additional action plans will also be developed in the areas of:

  • Food insecurity and hunger related to Climate Change
  • the UN Secretary General's  Millennium Development Goals Africa Initiative and MDGI on hunger.

Pilot action plans will cover:

  • Enhanced collaboration to support transition from relief to recovery and development in some selected countries.
  • Joint advocacy activities during 2010 to support the MDGs (with only five years to go).
  • Alignment of early warning/monitoring information systems to enhance food security reporting and overview

Photo: ©FAO/Giulio Napolitano
Senior staff summit on November 4, led by the heads of the three agencies.