FAO Regional Office for Africa

IGAD – FAO reaffirmed their partnership towards improving food and nutrition security in Eastern Africa

The two day partnership strengthening meeting renewed commitments to priority areas of collaboration in the IGAD region

IGAD Executive Secretary H.E Workneh Gebeyehu and FAO Subregional Coordinator, David Phiri signing the joint Aide Memoire ©FAO/Tezeta M. Hailemeskel

07 August 2023, Nairobi Kenya – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) endorsed a joint Aide Memoire outlining the principles of their renewed partnership to address critical agricultural and food security challenges in the Eastern Africa Subregion.

The joint communique was presented and signed at a two-day high-level FAO–IGAD strategic management coordination and partnership meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 5 to 6 August 2023. The dialogue aimed at reviewing the successes of the FAO- IGAD past collaboration, and renew cooperation towards delivering joint strategic initiatives that promote sustainable agriculture, rural development, and food security.

In his official remarks, the FAO Subregional Coordinator for Eastern Africa, Chimimba David Phiri, cited the IGAD Regional Focus of the 2023 Global Report on Food Crises, jointly prepared by FAO, IGAD and partner organizations, which informed that approximately 56 million people in the region are currently facing severe levels of acute food insecurity - representing 25 per cent of the world's acute food-insecure population. The IGAD region grapples with ongoing conflicts, displacement, soaring inflation, and high energy costs. This fact demonstrates the gravity of the food security problem and the need for accelerated and concerted action by development actors. He added, "I hope that this event has contributed to potential opportunities and new areas for enhanced partnership and joint activities, especially in areas of agrifood systems transformation, cross-border programming, resilience, mitigating the impact of conflicts, promoting peace and security, and achieving food security and nutrition. 

On his part, the IGAD Executive Secretary H.E Workneh Gebeyehu also reminded of the distressing situation of acute food insecurity in the IGAD region caused by extreme events, violent conflicts, insecurity, displacement, transboundary pest infestation, and macroeconomic challenges. He noted that in the face of these trials, the partnership between IGAD and FAO has stood strong, delivering meaningful impact on the ground and transforming lives. "Today, we are embarking on a renewed journey to strengthen our joint efforts. We must adapt our strategies to meet evolving challenges and opportunities in the region. The identified innovative solutions shall lay the foundations for a prosperous and secure future", he stated.

The signing event followed a technical dialogue where technical experts from the two organizations conducted a comprehensive review of the successful partnership between FAO and IGAD in the last 15 years, focusing on the progress made in addressing the challenges posed by natural and man-made disasters to the agri-food system. The meeting succeeded  to identify new opportunities for transformative partnerships between FAO and IGAD, aligning with the development plans of member states. 

About the new FAO – IGAD Aide Memoire

IGAD and FAO agreed on seven key priority areas of collaboration. The collaboration areas will further improve the successful partnership between the two entities toward meeting food and nutrition security commitments. The two organisations have agreed to:

  • Improve agri-food systems transformation, food security, and nutrition
  • Enhance livestock production and productivity 
  • Promote the blue economy, fisheries, and aquaculture development
  • Strengthen resilience analysis, Food Security and Nutrition Data and Information Systems
  • Climate change adaptation and mitigation
  • Disaster risk reduction and resilience
  • Contribute to inter-regional trade and market access


The Aide Memoire also outlined the implementation modalities of these collaborative initiatives involving a coordination mechanism that will facilitate joint programming, resource mobilization, regular meetings, information sharing, assessing progress, exchanging updates, and identifying new areas for further cooperation.