Enabling environment for improved nutrition 

FAO uses a food systems approach to create an enabling environment for governance, policies, programmes and investments. Scroll down to find out more about the key components of an enabling environment for nutrition and food systems:


FAO strengthens participation, responsiveness and accountability of all relevant stakeholders in food systems to institute strong governance for improved nutrition. It does so by ensuring that Governments deliver on their commitments and by empowering communities to participate in the decisions that affect their right to food and sustainable healthy diets.

​We work with partners at the global, regional, country, and community levels, across different areas, to achieve the shared goal of promoting sustainable healthy diets to address all forms of malnutrition. Find out more about our partners here. ​

FAO invests in strengthening data and evidence to improve nutrition governance, looking specifically at the pathways between food systems, sustainable healthy diets and improved nutrition. It supports knowledge sharing and promotes a culture of learning and evidence-based decision making in terms of policies and programmes. Find out more about our data and evidence activities below:

We use evidence to advocate for transformations in food systems. This includes the engagement of civil society and empowering communities to participate and influence their food environments to increase political commitment for sustainable healthy diets. Find out more about our advocacy activities with the parliamentarians here.

Policies and programmes​

Evidence-based national policies provide an overall vision of the programmes and actions needed to ensure that food systems deliver sustainable healthy diets for improved nutrition. Having a strong policy in place can incentivize stakeholders to work together in alignment for the delivery of programmes that reach the most vulnerable households. Our areas of focus include the following programmes:


Achieving Zero Hunger requires financial investment to accelerate changes in food systems. FAO, IFAD and WFP estimated in 2015 that additional annual investment of USD 265 billion is needed to defeat extreme poverty and hunger by 2030, as compared to a “business as usual” scenario. There is also need for the international community to invest more in recovery from disasters and conflicts, and in the financing of risk reduction, and address the drivers of vulnerability and risk.

While we know the cost of malnutrition in terms of GDP losses, technical insight is required to estimate finance needs and identify investment options to fund a food systems transformation to deliver sustainable healthy diets. In 2020-2021, FAO will lead this area of work together with partners and currently is working with the SUN Movement in developing a Budget analysis guidance note on nutrition-sensitive investments in agriculture and food systems. Find out more below: