UN Food Agencies commit to deeper collaboration to achieve Zero Hunger

FAO, IFAD and WFP sign new Memorandum of Understanding in Rome

6 June 2018, Rome - The three United Nations agencies tasked with ending hunger and boosting rural development have committed to strengthening their collaboration to help countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, with a special focus on achieving Goal 2 Zero Hunger.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP) have signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding that comes into force today.

"This Memorandum will be very important to enhance even more the collaboration, coordination and synergies between the three agencies, especially at country level. Working closely together is fundamental to better support our Member Countries in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," said FAO's Director-General José Graziano da Silva.

"Leveraging our collective strengths has always been at the core of the partnership between FAO, IFAD and WFP," said Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD.  "This MOU is not just a legal document, but a real tool to support new and innovative ways of working together to maximize our joint contribution to Agenda 2030 and transform rural areas into vibrant places where families can thrive," he said.

"We're working together more broadly and more effectively than ever before - because the humanitarian conditions today demand it.  And it does not matter who gets the credit as long as people who need our help benefit. This new era of collaboration and cooperation means that the work we do will be more efficient and effective, and will have a greater impact as we march toward our goal of Zero Hunger," said WFP's Executive Director David Beasley.

During the signing event, the three Rome Based Agencies' leaders expressed gratitude to Italy and highlighted Italy's role not only as host country of all three agencies but also as a strong advocate of the continuous strengthening of RBA collaboration.

Working at global, regional and country levels

The aim of the new MoU is to strengthen collaboration and coordination at global, regional and country levels in order to provide enhanced support to Member Countries.

It sets out areas for comprehensive and integrated support including working together on national planning processes with governments, as well as developing joint outcomes, programmes and assessments.

It also covers shared data analysis, joint accountability for collective outcomes, continued sharing of corporate services including security, human resources, travel and health services, developing new joint outcome-based financing approaches for projects, and a joint reporting mechanism to measure progress.

The memorandum is in line with the efforts of the UN Secretary General António Guterres for the UN system to transcend the humanitarian-development divide by working towards collective outcomes based on comparative advantages.

FAO, IFAD and WFP each have a unique mandate related to technical expertise, international financial assistance and emergency food assistance. The three Rome-based agencies share a common vision that achieving food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture requires a comprehensive and holistic approach, and they have long collaborated on projects and policy areas towards ending hunger and boosting rural development.

The Sustainable Development Goals were agreed by all 193 UN Member Countries in 2015, and set a deadline of 2030 to achieve 17 goals covering social, economic and environmental issues.    

Photo: ©FAO/Alessandra Benedetti
(Left to right) WFP’s Executive Director David Beasley, FAO’s Director-General José Graziano da Silva and IFAD’s President Gilbert F. Houngbo after signing a new agreement to deepen their collaboration for Zero Hunger.