FAO Project “Developing Capacity for Strengthening Food Security and Nutrition in Selected Countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia”
The Project “Developing Capacity for Strengthening Food Security and Nutrition in Selected Countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia” is funded by the Russian Federation and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The Project aims at strengthening institutional capacities to reduce the prevalence of food insecurity and malnutrition in selected countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia (Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan), thus contributing to provide, at global and regional levels, the foundations that will set these countries on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 2: end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. The project emphasises on strengthening social protection systems. Accordingly, the project will benefit from FAO’s global programme on Strengthening Food Systems for Nutrition-Sensitive Social Protection.
The project operates at global, regional and country levels and is based on three major outputs:
- Improved capacities for result-oriented policies, legislations and programmes to ensure the achievement of food security and high levels of nutrition for the entire population
- Improved multi- and cross-sectoral coordination for good food security and nutrition governance.
- Improved capacities of governments and other relevant stakeholders for human resources and organizational development in the food security and nutrition domain.
At the global level, the project promotes the participation of stakeholders in global policy dialogues, including those taking place in the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). The project is contributing to the development of normative content for the FAO’s global programme on Strengthening Food Systems for Nutrition Sensitive Social Protection and facilitating inter-regional exchanges of experiences and lessons learned, including through participation of a broad set of stakeholders in the Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition.
At the regional level, the project brings together good practices and instruments for capacity development, policy dialogue and learning about food security and nutrition strategies, including nutrition-sensitive social protection and school feeding programmes.
At national level, the project aims at making operational the linkages between social protection, nutrition and agricultural interventions across the food systems.
Three distinct “School Food and Nutrition Program linked to the Agricultural Sector” pilots will be implemented to test three different models: in Armenia the project will establish School Gardens in 3 schools; in Tajikistan it is envisaged to establish 15 School Gardens and 5 Community Gardens and in Kyrgyzstan the project will establish a sustainable centralized model of supply of agricultural products to meet the needs of schools and other social institutions at the district level. A total of 30 schools will benefit from the services of the Logistic Centre.
Two different models for “Strengthening Food Systems with Nutrition Sensitive Social Protection be implemented: in Armenia the project will establish a “Cash Plus” approach that links the national social protection programme providing family benefits to households with children with livelihoods options: small scale agricultural innovations, training and extension services and nutrition education; in Kyrgyzstan the project will develop an alternative model of the “Productive Social Contract/CASH+”, by supporting the beneficiaries of the current Monthly Benefit for Low-Income Households with Children program to obtain regular transfers and to link them to and provide them with: nutrition-sensitive (small-scale) productive interventions, technical training, nutrition education, in-kind/input transfers and identification of potential markets.
In Tajikistan, the project will implement a model on “Promoting Inclusive Economic Growth through Matching Grants” which will leverage the remittances of migrant workers to investment them into the development of family agriculture and thus allowing the farmers to invest 50% of funds for the small scale project and attract addition 50% of funds from the project plus the knowledge and professional guidance of FAO.
These models will provide evidence base on the impact of an integrated approach on food security, nutrition and social protection outcomes; and it will use this evidence to contribute and influence key policy, legislative and programing processes at country, regional and global level.