What would you like to know?

Find answers to frequently asked questions about the work and role of FAO.

QWhat is FAO?

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is an agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to eliminate hunger. Learn more about us here.

QWhat is FAO’s mission?

Our three main goals are:

  • the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition;
  • the elimination of poverty and the driving forward of economic and social progress for all; and,
  • the sustainable management and utilization of natural resources, including land, water, air, climate and genetic resources for the benefit of present and future generations.
QHow is FAO funded?

FAO receives 100 percent of its funding from its member countries. To learn more about the financing structure and how funds are allocated, see our strategic planning page.

QWhat is FAO doing in my country?

FAO is active in nearly every country around the world. The Organization has five regional offices providing localized support to all of our programmes.

QHow is FAO’s work different from that of WFP and IFAD?

FAO is a knowledge organization. It is the lead UN agency for technical expertise in food security, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development, as well as in the sustainable management of natural resources essential over the long term.

WFP is a humanitarian organization. It provides food aid and logistical operations to save lives in emergency situations and to improve the nutrition and quality of life of the most vulnerable people in times of crisis.

IFAD is a multilateral financial institution. It funds rural development projects that will improve the nutritional level and living conditions of the poorest populations in developing countries.

The organizations have complementary mandates that allow for joint programming and collaboration on their shared goal of ensuring the fundamental right of all people to be free from hunger.

QWho is the head of FAO?

Qu Dongyu, who took office on 1 August 2019 as Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, has spent his life working on how to make sure the world is fed. Read his biography here.

QHow do I apply for a job at FAO?

You can find information about our current vacancies for professional staff and consultants on our employment site.

QWhere can I send my curriculum vitae or résumé?

If you are a first-time user, before applying to any requisition (vacancy), create your candidate profile by clicking here.

QWhat kind of opportunities does FAO have for students and recent graduates?

FAO offers a Junior Professional Programme and an Associate Professional Officers Programme for young, dynamic, exceptionally qualified and motivated candidates. FAO also offers an Internship Programme for current or recently matriculated graduate students. More information is available on our employment site.

QDoes FAO offer grants?

FAO does not have funds available to support individuals' requests for grant.

QHow can I register as a Vendor to the FAO?

FAO has a Vendor registration system interfaced with the United Nations Global Marketplace (UNGM).

QI have registered as a FAO Vendor but I have never been invited to bid

This may be due to several reasons. However, if you believe that your product and/or services are required by FAO, please contact the Vendor Team on [email protected].

QDoes FAO partner with other entities?

Partnerships are at the heart of FAO’s mission to help build consensus for a world without hunger. Read more about our partners.

QHow does FAO support investment?

FAO’s support to investment includes the formulation, implementation, supervision and evaluation of agricultural investment plans, programmes and projects. Read more about FAO’s support to investment.

QCan I use the FAO logo?

The FAO logo is the corporate identifier and official seal of the Organization, and it is protected under international treaties and conventions on intellectual property. Its use is highly restricted and is prohibited without prior permission. Requests for use of the FAO logo for any reason whatsoever, whether or not in association with other logos, must be addressed to [email protected].

QWhat are some examples of FAO’s work in the field and success stories?

Please visit our In Action section for articles and information on our projects and programmes dedicated to achieving food security, sustainable agricultural development and zero hunger.

QWhat can FAO do for me?

FAO offers a wealth of information on best practices in food, agriculture and nutrition which can be used freely to inform research, policy development and technical programming. Our latest publications and statistics are fantastic resources for the latest and greatest analyses, case studies and data.

QHow can I stay up to date on the latest news from FAO?

Follow us on social media! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter (@FAONews and @FAO), Instagram, LinkedIn and Flickr.

QI am a journalist, who should I get in touch with for queries from the media?

Please contact our media relations office at [email protected] or (+39) 06 570 53625. For the latest news, press releases and media events, visit our media page.

QWhere can I find the FAO Basic Texts and the FAO Preamble?

The Basic Texts of FAO are available here.

QWhere can I find FAO's latest Data?

FAO is dedicated to collecting, analyzing, interpreting and disseminating food and agriculture statistics that are relevant for decision-making. Visit FAO Data pages here.

QHow is FAO contributing to the achievement of the SDGs?

FAO has a long history of working in all three dimensions of sustainable development – social, economic and environmental – on projects designed to leave no one behind. The Organization’s technical capacity, global reach, monitoring expertise, and experience building partnerships and shaping policy can support countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda. Learn more here.

QWhat is FAO doing to prevent food loss and waste?

Reducing food loss and waste is critical to creating a Zero Hunger world and reaching the world’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 2 (End Hunger) and SDG 12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns). FAO works with a broad spectrum of stakeholders and partners to tackle the problem. Learn more here.

QHow are hunger and food insecurity measured?

There is no single way to measure all of the many dimensions of hunger and food insecurity. For many years, hunger has been measured using the Prevalence of Undernourishment (PoU). For the first time, FAO is releasing figures on moderate or severe food insecurity based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale, or FIES. Read an interview with Anne Kepple, one of FAO’s food security experts, to learn more.

QWhat is hunger?

Hunger is an uncomfortable or painful physical sensation caused by insufficient consumption of dietary energy. It becomes chronic when the person does not consume a sufficient amount of calories (dietary energy) on a regular basis to lead a normal, active and healthy life.

QWhat is food loss?

Food loss is the decrease in the quantity or quality of food resulting from decisions and actions by food suppliers in the chain, excluding retailers, food service providers and consumers.

Empirically, it refers to any food that is discarded, incinerated or otherwise disposed of along the food supply chain from harvest/slaughter/catch up to, but excluding, the retail level, and does not re-enter in any other productive utilization, such as feed or seed. Learn more on food loss here.

QWhat is food waste?

Food waste refers to the decrease in the quantity or quality of food resulting from decisions and actions by retailers, food service providers and consumers. Food is wasted in many ways:

  • Fresh produce that deviates from what is considered optimal, for example in terms of shape, size and color, is often removed from the supply chain during sorting operations.
  • Foods that are close to, at or beyond the “best-before” date are often discarded by retailers and consumers.
  • Large quantities of wholesome edible food are often unused or left over and discarded from household kitchens and eating establishments.

Learn more on food waste here.

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