The Italian Contribution to the FAO Trust Fund for Food Security and Food Safety (ITF FSFS) aims at improving food security and reducing poverty in priority regional and subregional platforms, such as: Africa (African Great Lakes, West Africa, Sahel countries, Sub-Saharan African countries); Latin American & Caribbean (Central America, South America and Caribbean); Asia & Pacific (Central Asia and Pacific Islands); Near East; Eastern Europe.
The Funding Liaison Unit (FLU), within the Resource Mobilization and Operations Support Service (TCSR) of the FAO Technical Cooperation Department (TC), ensures the proper management of the Italian Contribution to FAO Global Trust Fund, liaising with the Donor through the Ufficio II - Multilater Desk of the Italian Directorate General for Development Cooperation (DGCS), as well as with FAO Technical Units and Decentralized Offices. It disseminates information on Donor priorities, policies and opportunities, in accordance with the Donor's and FAO's needs for greater harmonization and alignment to the Strategic Objectives (SOs) of the Organization and Impact Focus Areas (IFAs).
The FLU constantly monitors the activity of FAO Technical Units and Decentralized Offices through the entire project cycle (Identification, Formulation, Implementation and Evaluation), in coordination with all the involved partners, and encourages a constant dialogue among them. Significant consideration is given to the integration and creation of synergies with the other ongoing activities and more specifically with the National Programmes for Food Security, whenever they are established. In order to enhance efficiency, effectiveness, accountability and transparency, the project implementation and outcomes are assessed by monitoring and reviewing activities; while, the project's impact and objectives' accomplishments are evaluated through FAO standard procedures for independent evaluation.
The Italian Contribution to the FAO Trust Fund for Food Security and Food Safety has been progressively moving its attention to a vision of Food Security through the Commercialization of Agriculture (FSCA) strategy: supporting and building capacities of smallholder farmers, both as individuals and within groups or associations (i.e. Farmer-based Organizations - FBOs). This includes adopting the value chain approach, facilitating knowledge sharing and technology transfer, launching strategic partnerships between public and private sectors, and also, creating marketing opportunities. This should allow the emergence of a local private sector that could take on some of the upstream and downstream activities related to agriculture.
The ITF FSFS also addresses regional issues for food security strategies. This regional approach contributes at boosting national efforts for the alleviation of hunger and poverty in rural areas, focusing on cross-border trade facilitation and accomplishment in food quality and safety standards. This also includes harmonization of policies and institutions to support competitiveness and modernization and at the same time to strengthen the regional identity.
Other areas of interest for the ITF FSFS are the prevention of cross-border transmission of plant and animal diseases, the harmonization of the international food trade and the dissemination of agricultural information. Particular attention is also given to the challenge of protecting local ecosystems and produce in an environmentally sustainable way, through the commercial valorization of local biodiversity.
The Italian funded projects also focus on rural women's organizations, because their role is fundamental to improve living standards: they produce much of the world's food, even though they lack access to the fundamental tools of food production - land, credit, training and decision making power.