Flexible Voluntary Contribution (FVC)

Strengthening capacity to harness positive effects of migration


The overall objective of the project is to contribute to poverty reduction and inclusive rural transformations, through the creation of decent employment opportunities in rural areas prone to outmigration, while promoting migration as a climate adaptation strategy.

Specifically, the project aims to support governments and rural stakeholders to adopt and implement policies and strategies that promote sustainable alternatives to migration for rural youth, empower family members that stay behind, harness the contributions of migrants and diaspora to rural livelihoods, and support prospective and return migrants.

Status of the sub-programme

Major results


The project became operational in December 2019, when a project task force was established. The task force is composed of the Decent Rural Employment team – from the Inclusive Rural Transformation and Gender Equality Division – as lead technical unit of the project, and of country offices where the project is implemented.


In Uganda, the project strengthened diaspora representation in policy dialogue related to agrifood systems, while also enhancing the capacities of diaspora in agribusiness. As part of these efforts, FAO supported the Government in formulating a national policy to facilitate diaspora contributions to rural development and organized two Diaspora Agrifood Investment Conferences and Award, in 2020 and 2021.The project also enabled the setup of the Uganda Diaspora Agribusiness Network, which comprises over 80 Ugandan diaspora agripreneurs based in European countries and promotes their investments and transfer of knowledge into Ugandan youth-led agribusinesses. Through the project, FAO supported 130 return migrants and 15 diaspora agripreneurs by providing legal aid and agribusiness skills training.

In Senegal, the project enhanced migration governance mechanisms by building the capacities of national and local policy makers in six pilot municipalities, through training and awareness raising sessions. Working with the Regional Agencies for Development, the project is also supporting the inclusion of migration issues in new and existing development plans. Furthermore, orientation and help desks (Bureaux Communaux d’Accueil, Orientation et de Suivi), run by facilitators trained by FAO, were set up in the six municipalities. Their function is to support the socio-economic reintegration of returning migrants, welcoming and assisting them, while acting as a general point of reference for any question related to migration. Through the help desks, 120 young prospective and returning migrants have been trained in agribusiness, improving their ability to set-up income generating activities in horticulture, poultry farming and cattle fattening.

In Nepal, the project trained and supported women in rural areas of high male outmigration, improving their employability and entrepreneurial skills. The project also provided vocational training, in-kind support, and continued coaching to 327 Nepalese returning migrants, helping them develop and start their own business plans. Throughout the project, FAO has also worked with local governments to enhance their capacity to support returnees, as well as women and youth who stayed behind, in areas affected by migration.

At regional level, a workshop focused on Enhancing the resilience and livelihoods of migrants, refugees, and host communities in rural Eastern Africa contributed to strengthening the capacities of relevant ministries, FAO staff, and other regional partners in addressing critical challenges and capitalizing on opportunities related to migration, forced displacement, resilience and development, particularly in rural areas.

At global level, through the project, FAO increased awareness on the links between migration, agriculture and rural development, by participating in UN mechanisms, global fora and events, such as the UN Food Systems Summit and the International Migration Review Forum.

Thanks to the project, FAO also played a crucial role in raising public awareness on the key contribution of migrants to agrifood systems and in advocating for the need to address their vulnerabilities, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The project also contributed to catalyzing additional resources to respond to emerging needs due to increased waves of return migration to rural areas in a number of African and Asian countries.


Capitalizing on the results of the project and the strong networks established at country level, there is an opportunity to scale-up interventions, strengthening their institutionalization, reinforcing stakeholders’ capacities and innovating by bringing in the climate change-migration nexus. In particular, there is a potential to support:

  • countries in promoting the contribution of diaspora to agribusiness and climate-resilient livelihoods;
  • women left behind in rural areas of intense male out-migration;
  • the reintegration of returning migrants in rural areas, through agribusiness and climate change adaptation.


Globally, COVID-19 exacerbated the vulnerabilities of migrants. The flexibility of the FMM financing mechanism enabled the project to respond effectively to the new challenges posed by the pandemic, in particular with regards to supporting the reintegration of increased numbers of returnees in rural areas.  At country level, in-person activities and training were delayed due to the recurring lockdowns imposed by the pandemic. This required a revision of the activity timeline and delivery modality. The presence of country teams was crucial to guarantee the continuous involvement of local governments and mobilize competent service providers.

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