FAO Investment Centre

DYK? Global challenges need innovative solutions, and these solutions need to be financed

Find out how the FAO Investment Centre helps countries make more and better policies and investments

The FAO Investment Centre helps countries design and mobilize a mix of public and private investments. In 2019, FAO and its main financing partners (World Bank, IFAD, EBRD, GCF, GAFSP) mobilized USD 4.5 billion in agriculture and rural development investments.  The Centre also assists a wider group of partners in implementing investment projects, supporting improved food and incomes for millions of people worldwide. In addition, the Centre advises key partners such as the European Union to guide their blended finance initiatives in aligning them with the SDGs.

That said, substantially more public and private investment is needed annually to eliminate poverty and hunger by 2030. The good news is that several countries and private investors are putting their money behind initiatives that generate positive returns alongside social and environmental impacts. The Centre, through its investment policy support, carries out sector analyses and value chain studies to support investment decision-making and strengthen national investment capacities. It also helps foster enabling policy environment for private investment. For example, blended finance has been a major innovation for Mali’s financial sector, where four out of five rural Malians do not have access to financial capital. An IFAD-funded and FAO-supported financial inclusion project (now in its second phase) has provided 500,000 low-income rural Malians with financial services to run small enterprises.

Creating healthier, greener food systems depends largely on policy uptake and investment. FAO’s investment support helps scale up the impact of FAO’s work to reach where it is needed most. Whether designing climate smart livestock investments or advising on regional agricultural policies and strategies for the Caribbean or the Near East, the Centre’s knowledge products and policy support is undertaken in close collaboration with FAO’s technical departments and regional offices – averaging 40 secondments, annually. In this way, the best and latest policy and technical innovations are brought to bear on investment projects.

The Centre’s 2020 workplan is set to support the advance of the agrifood sector’s digital transformation, grow both the private and green investment portfolios and focus more on knowledge and innovation for investment - areas that are key for agriculture’s transformation, according to the Director-General. The Centre’s mandate to translate policy and scalable initiatives into investment operations at country level will be an important instrument for FAO’s new Hand in Hand Initiative.

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