As global challenges increase, FAO forges even greater partnerships with Non-State Actors

Photo Credit: ©FAO/Luis Tato

08/11/2022 - 

FAO has provided an update on its engagements with non-state actors (NSAs), publishing its Partnerships with Non-State Actors at FAO Progress Report 2020-2021. The paper sets out how the FAO Partnerships and UN Collaboration (PSU) Division has continued to facilitate FAO’s work with a wide range of partners, including civil society organizations, cooperatives, producer organizations, parliamentarians, Indigenous Peoples, academia and research institutes.

The report covers a two-year period that was an extraordinary time for global health. The crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic was on a scale that had not been seen for generations, and its knock-on effects reverberated deeply across every sector and the entire planet. Critical progress in reducing poverty was reversed, with hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition rapidly escalating.

However, other factors were already at play that were laying a difficult path for progress on hunger and poverty. Chiefly, these were the frequency and intensity of climate variability, conflict and economic downturns in general.

These drivers interacted to create multiple, compounding impacts that particularly affected low- and middle-income countries, as well as a generally widespread exacerbation of income inequality in countries both rich and poor.

FAO’s newly published report details what it achieved in this context through its diverse partnerships with NSAs, enacting with them a broad set of strategic engagements at regional, country and global levels.

It is precisely these types of tactical partnerships that are the key to realising long-term, beneficial changes that can drive vital transformation of agrifood systems. Additionally, they can make real and lasting contributions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Why does FAO partner with Non-State Actors?

NSAs play a fundamental role in international cooperation and solidarity. They are close to vulnerable populations, they have the ability to scale-up knowledge and innovations, and they seek social justice, providing evidence-based solutions for complex issues.

FAO’s report explores some examples of how its partnerships with NSAs have contributed to work on specific challenges and objectives, including those within the context of the FAO Hand-in-Hand Initiative, the United Nations Decade on Family Farming, the United Nations Food Systems Summit and the COVID-19 crisis.

Underlining FAO’s continued commitment to these collaborations, the report elaborates on the lessons that have already been learned and the success stories that shine as examples of how forward-looking, targeted FAO-NSA partnerships really contribute to the transformation of agrifood systems.

FAO will continue to work closely with NSAs to achieve the goals set out in the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-2031, which support the 2030 Agenda through the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life – leaving no one behind. 

Click here to read the full report.