L'Emploi rural décent

FAO highlights the need to consider rural dimensions at the International Migration Review Forum


Revisit FAO’s engagements during the first IMRF, at the crossroads of human mobility, rural development, and the need to transform our agrifood systems.

The first quadrennial International Migration Review Forum 2022 (IMRF) took place in New York from 17-20 May. Convened by the UN General Assembly, the IMRF serves as the primary intergovernmental global platform for Member States to assess and deliberate on the the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). The IMRF concluded with the adoption of the Progress Declaration on the implementation of the Compact. During the Froum, FAO advocated for the importance of ensuring rural people are not left behind and that migration is a choice but not a necessity.

Revisit the main messages and key takeaways from FAO’s engagement at the IMRF, through its contribution to the formal programme and through its participation in two side events. 

17 May, New York – At today’s Roundtable 1 discussions, FAO delivered a joint statement on behalf of the Rome-based Agencies – FAO, IFAD and WFP. "Many people leave rural areas because of poverty, food insecurity, lack of decent work opportunities, the impacts of climate change, conflicts and instability, and to find better prospects," said Lucas Tavares, Senior Liaison Officer, FAO Liaison Office with the UN in New York, pointing to the urgent need to address the adverse drivers of migration in rural areas, coupled with investing in sustainable agrifood systems, decent rural employment opportunities, and resilient rural livelihoods.

FAO, IFAD, and WFP called on governments and partners to recognize the role of migration as a climate change adaptation strategy and consider the role of migrants, remittances and diaspora investments in contributing to building sustainable, inclusive, and resilient agrifood systems and livelihoods. To do so, investments are needed in rural poverty eradication and food security, humanitarian assistance, climate change adaptation, and decent employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, especially for women and youth, among other key areas of work. Read the full joint statement and watch the recording.

18 May, New York – As part of Roundtable 3, IFAD’s Pedro de Vasconcelos delivered a joint statement on behalf of the Rome-based Agencies. With half of all remittances going to rural areas, FAO, IFAD and WFP believe that "remittances are critically important to rural and more vulnerable communities, particularly in times of crisis." In fact, rural transformation is closely connected with the migration phenomenon, as rural areas are often the starting point of the migration journey.

In the joint statement, the agencies called on Member States and stakeholders to strengthen partnerships and develop synergies for cheaper, faster, and more secure remittance transfers; recognize the role of remittances in addressing food and nutrition needs as well as fostering sustainable agrifood systems and the need to create an enabling environment for this; improve data collection and analysis to foster innovation in remittance markets and diaspora investments; increase access to digital remittances; empower women and youth through financial literacy and entrepreneurship initiatives; and bring diaspora voices into decision-making processes. Read the joint statement in full and watch the recording.

18 May, New York – Roundtable 4 saw FAO speak on the importance of evidence and disaggregated data on migrant populations and their specific needs to better tailor livelihood rehabilitation and food security policies. "Evidence and disaggregated data matters, and the absence of it can have serious consequences for the lives of the most vulnerable migrant populations, particularly those living in or fleeing countries in crisis. Without comprehensive, disaggregated data to understand the needs and vulnerabilities of migrant populations in rural areas, and ensuring this informs our response, we risk overlooking the most vulnerable, and inadvertently excluding these populations in the fight against hunger and food insecurity," said Lucas Tavares. As such, FAO is committed to ensuring rural migrant voices go to the heart of programmatic and policy approaches to data and evidence generation, while seeing migrants themselves as agents of change and vital partners in the building of crisis responses and in driving recovery. Read the full statement. Watch the recording.

On 18 May, FAO also co-organized two side events during the IMRF 2022. In the side event Climate-related mobility and conflict: pathways to peace and human security, co-organized with the CGIAR, FAO Deputy Director of Emergencies and Resilience, Shukri Ahmed, touched on the precarious situations and impossible choices facing communities affected by climate shocks, weather extremes, and conflict, and the need to respond to short-term needs as well as longer-term rehabilitation and resilience strategies, such as diversified and innovative agricultural production in the presence of climate change and its impact on natural resources.

The second side-event Linking Policy, Evidence and Practice from GCM to Paris Agreement: Human Mobility in the Changing Climate, co-organized by FAO, ILO, IOM, PDD, UNFCCC and UNCHR and sponsored by the Government of Philippines, discussed how the impacts of climate change increase human vulnerabilities in multiple ways, disrupting migration patterns and leading to displacement. It also discussed how, if well managed, migration can be a positive force for climate change adaptation in areas of origin, transit and destination. 

Tavares said that climate change is already affecting rural areas and that rural poor are exceptionally vulnerable to its impacts. He went on to share two examples through which FAO is helping build resilient pathways for rural people by addressing the root causes of climate-related migration and fostering policy coherence and multisectoral coordination. The Green Climate Fund RECLIMA project implemented in the Dry Corridor of El Salvador is helping to build resilience, restore 17 000 hectares of degraded ecosystems, and strengthen governance to help more than 50 000 family farmers face climate change. The second example presented a global guide being developed by FAO and the United Nations University to integrate rural migration considerations into National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Read the full statement. Watch the recording.

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