In the Europe and Central Asia region, FAO collaborates with a variety of non-governmental partners, including development agencies, international financing organizations, civil society groups, private companies, industry associations, academic and research institutions, as well as with member governments.
Partnerships provide technical assistance, research, information and knowledge sharing, networking, outreach and advocacy, and more. In partnership, everyone benefits – rural populations, communities, government staff, and of course the partner institutions themselves, including FAO.
In some cases FAO’s partners make voluntary contributions to finance priority programmes and projects. In Europe and Central Asia, the European Union, the Government of Türkiye and the Russian Federation are three important resource partners – financing agriculture and rural development work, response to food and agriculture emergencies, and other important activities in countries across the region.
Academic and research institutions
As sources of knowledge, expertise and innovation, academic and research institutions are natural partners for FAO. Cooperation with academic and research institutions focuses mainly on the exchange of technical expertise, information sharing, jointly organized conferences and workshops, participation in multilateral international meetings, and hosting interns. Institutions with which FAO has signed Memoranda of Understanding or is in the process of finalizing partnership arrangements include: Ankara University, Türkiye; Research institute of Agricultural Economics, Hungary; Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian Federation; Timiryazev Agricultural Academy, Russian Federation; Agricultural University of Tirana, Albania; National Academy of Sciences, Belarus; and the Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Hungary.
In addition to the formal partnerships mentioned above, FAO cooperates with a wide range of academic and research institutions in the Europe and Central Asia region, utilizing their expertise through consultancies on various projects and programmes.
FAO recognizes that civil society organizations play a critical role in the fight against hunger – given their experience, their proximity to local communities and representation of the hungry and poor, and their increasing presence in the field. FAO appeals to their field knowledge and capacity on a variety of issues related to food security.
Cooperation with the civil society in the region
The Civil Society Consultation held back to back with the 30th Regional Conference for Europe in Antalya decided to establish a mechanism for better cooperation with the civil society and to ensure that civil society voice is heard and reflected in relevant discussions and events in the region.
FAO partners with the private sector to increase responsible and productive investments in agriculture, enhance efficiency in the supply chain, make advancements in data and science, improve the management and dissemination of knowledge, and encourage sustainable business practices in corporate social responsibility programmes. The private sector plays a crucial role in efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. FAO is pursuing partnerships with the private sector at all levels.
More than ten countries in the region including Central Asia, Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Western Balkans have expressed their needs for knowledge sharing and capacity building with other member states having similar development experiences.
At the moment, Chile, China, Hungary, Russian Federation, and Türkiye, as well as triangular partners including Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, are providing solutions to the region for agricultural development and food security.
FAO and Türkiye signed a South–South cooperation agreement in 2021 regarding the deployment of Turkish experts under the FAO–Türkiye Partnership Programme to provide technical expertise and knowledge to Central Asian countries and Azerbaijan and to help develop solutions for common development issues in the food and agriculture sector.
- FAO Strategy for Partnerships with Civil Society Organizations
- Guidelines for Ensuring Balanced Representation of Civil Society in FAO Meetings and Processes
- FAO Strategy for Private Sector Engagement, 2021-2025
- FAO's South-South and Triangular Cooperation Strategy in Action
- Quick Guide to South-South Cooperation
- Partnerships with Non-State Actors at FAO: Progress Report 2020–2021