The “Improved Global Governance for Hunger Reduction” Programme is funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The EU has contributed 30 million euros to which the FAO has contributed an additional 17 million euros. It operates in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). The Programme began in January 2012 and will run for 48 months.
The challenge of addressing global issues that affect food security
Global issues such as climate change, economic crises, and price volatility have a huge impact on food security. Addressing these complex issues requires UN agencies, national governments, regional organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), civil society organizations and others to work together in a coordinated manner.
In order to improve coordination at the global level, the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) has been reformed to strengthen its role in promoting discussion and building consensus among these key groups.
The Programme supports the CFS reform process by:
- making it easier for civil society organizations, such as farmer organizations, consumers, indigenous peoples and consumers, to contribute to decision-making processes on food security at the regional and global levels.
- supporting the “High Level Panel of Experts” - a group of food security experts that provides impartial scientifically sound advice to the CFS; and
- more actively involving regional bodies such as ASEAN, COMESA, CILSS, etc. in shaping the global food security agenda.
Improving food security information for decision making
When designing policies and programmes to reduce hunger, it is important to know who and where the hungry are, the causes of hunger, and what can be done to improve the situation. Reliable information and analysis is required in order to answer these questions.
The Programme improves the availability and reliability of food security information by ensuring that it:
- addresses the special challenges faced by women and other groups who are often overlooked;
- covers nutrition where appropriate; and
- is useful for decision-making.
In order to make sure that this information leads to coordinated action, the Programme also provides support to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) - a tool and process for building consensus when classifying food security crises.
The Programme develops policy guidelines and tools for addressing food security issues. Training and capacity development activities are also provided.
Topics covered include:
- food safety;
- food price volatility;
- dealing with livestock in emergencies;
- land governance;
- sustainable agriculture; and
- introducing the rights-based approach in cash transfer programmes.
The Programme also contributes to policy decision support tools which:
- track national policies aimed at increasing food security and nutrition; and
- map investments in food security and nutrition.
These help ensure that efforts are not duplicated and that national anti-hunger policies can be monitored and adjusted to make them more effective.
Although direct technical support is often provided, the ultimate aim of the programme is to develop national and regional capacity in a variety of food security related fields. This will ensure that the guidelines and methodologies developed are used effectively and have concrete impact.
Capacity development activities include:
- food security related e-learning courses and training materials;
- online forums; and
- workshops and training events.
Gender and nutrition
Recognizing that women, children, and other vulnerable groups are often the most food insecure, the programme seeks to:
- increase the availability of gender disaggregated data; and
- ensure that gender issues are addressed in policy tools and guidelines.
Because of the vital role agriculture plays in improving nutrition, the programme:
- promotes food-based approaches to improving nutrition;
- supports sustainable agriculture which improves access to nutritious foods, while increasing the productivity of smallholders; and
- advocating, and providing technical assistance, for including nutrition indicators and outcomes in agricultural policies and programmes.
The scope and complexity of the work to be done in reducing hunger makes it essential to work with local, national and international partners. In particular FAO, IFAD and WFP will work together to make sure that the strengths of the three Rome based UN agencies are combined. Strong ties with regional bodies are also sought because of their role in:
- harmonizing national food security policies;
- facilitating regional food security information systems; and
- addressing food security issues that cut across borders.
Other partners include UN agencies, universities and research organizations, civil society organizations (CSOs) and non governmental organizations (NGOs).