FAO emergencies and resilience

Social protection


Worldwide, 80 percent of the extreme poor live in rural areas. Of these, 76 percent work in agriculture, and a great share of them relies on subsistence farming.

Shocks and stresses can affect the stability of agri-food systems and push vulnerable groups reliant on agriculture into destitution and hunger, as too often they lack the means to manage risks. This calls for inclusive risk management approaches that meet the immediate needs of shock-affected populations, while addressing the root causes of risk and vulnerability to create resilient and peaceful communities. 

Social protection comprises a set of policies and programmes addressing economic, environmental and social vulnerabilities to food insecurity and poverty through preventive, protective, promotive and transformative effects for its beneficiaries.

Social protection interventions are channelled through a wide range of instruments commonly categorized under three pillars:

  • social assistance
  • social insurance
  • labour market interventions

Social protection plays a key role in reducing extreme poverty and enhancing food security, while also building household’s resilience in times of shocks, and stimulating rural households to invest in agricultural production. 

    Social protection: bridging the gap
    Related links

     Social protection


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    Enhancing resilience and restoring agricultural productive capacity and food security through social protection in Indonesia

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    In late April 2021, Viet Nam faced its fourth wave of COVID-19, with over 895 000 new cases reported (FAO, 2022).

    Social protection as a pathway to sustaining peace

    Global crises are becoming the new normal. From climate change to the contemporary food price crisis, vulnerable populations – and especially rural...

    Leveraging social protection's role in climate adaptation in rural areas

    Small-scale producers contribute the least to climate change, but are the most at risk of welfare losses due to increasing global temperatures and extreme...

    Addressing food crises through social protection

    In increasingly complex development and humanitarian contexts, hunger has reached critical levels.