Policy Support and Governance Gateway

Europe and Central Asia

The region encompasses countries with diverse economic and climatic conditions. Agriculture is an important sector of the economy, providing livelihoods for a significant proportion of the population. Since 1990, former Soviet countries have been transitioning to market economy and privatization of farms and agri-businesses. 

Yet many people still suffer from lack of regular access to sufficient, nutritious food. Obesity rates continue to rise. The region needs to attract private investment, improve governance, and address climate change to promote a transition to healthy diets and sustainable food production. Slowing regional growth, emigration of skilled labour, and shrinking working-age population add challenges.

FAO engages with stakeholders to enhance food security.

FAO’s policy work comprises creating knowledge products and technical guidelines, supporting evidence-based policy formulation, and capacity development in policy analysis and monitoring with the goal of raising rural households’ incomes. FAO engages ministries and communities alike to enhance food security and access to markets with emphasis on gender and governance.

Key policy messages

·        Empower smallholders to improve rural livelihoods and reduce poverty. Enhance policy-making on rural development through evidence-based analysis and capacity development of national institutions and regional networks. Improve income-earning opportunities in rural areas and address the root causes of migration. These efforts should ensure inclusion of women and vulnerable groups.

·        Improve agri-food trade and market integration by strengthening institutional capacities to make food systems more efficient, inclusive and resilient. Examples: Support trade negotiations and meeting international food safety and quality standards; develop policy to reduce the food waste and loss; establish price-and-market information systems and  build strategies to deal with risks of agricultural market; prevent trans-boundary and emerging threats on agriculture and livestock sector.

·       Manage natural resources sustainably by supporting the transition to climate-resilient, sustainable food systems. This involves enhancing climate resilience in agriculture through the promotion of climate-resilient seed systems and development of technical capacities. Also, assist governments to access climate financing and strengthen the early warning systems and agrometeorology service.

·       Improve nutrition and provide healthy diets for all by enhancing analytical evidence on nutrition challenges and diet-related non-communicable diseases to inform policies.Support countries to gain understanding of underlying causes and socioeconomic impact of obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases as they relate to food systems. Develop their capacity for strengthening food security and nutrition through pilot projects using integrated approaches, such as school food and nutrition programmes linked to the agricultural sector.

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