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Rome-Based UN Agencies

There are three UN agencies based in Rome: WFP, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Their missions complement one another and they often combine their expertise in agriculture, food assistance and rural development.

Increasingly, the Rome-based agencies are finding joint solutions to dealing with emergencies and promoting recovery and development.

RBA News

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10/16/2014 - 07:59
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“Every year, we witness hunger’s devastating effect on families, communities and whole economies,” said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin. “But despite horrific crises engulfing entire regions, we are making real progress in the fight to sustainably and durably end hunger and chronic malnutrition. Thanks to the work we do with our partners on emergency preparedness, support to family farmers, nutritional assistance – particularly in a child’s first 1,000 days – and building the resilience of communities to withstand shocks, millions of people are now better able to focus on building a future free of hunger for themselves and the next generation.”

According to The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014 report, the total number of hungry people in the world is down by 37 million, to 805 million, and 63 countries have reached international hunger-reduction targets before 2015, proof of the progress possible when governments, humanitarian organizations and the private sector come together to make lasting change.

Recent studies have outlined the devastating effect that hunger and under-nutrition can have on the lives of individuals, communities and national economies. Data from a series of studies called the Cost of Hunger in Africa has shown that hunger is capable of reducing a nation’s workforce by 9.4% and national GDPs by up to 16.5%, severely limiting a developing country’s ability to make much needed investments and grow.

This shows why the international community must continue to strive towards a world with zero hunger, a world in which children and families can build their futures and farmers can better provide for themselves and help their communities become self-sufficient, Cousin said.  

Every year, WFP marks World Food Day alongside the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome and offices around the world.

The theme for this year’s World Food Day is “family farming,” one of the many ways WFP is supporting local economies to build self-sufficiency and people to achieve zero hunger in their communities. Here are just a few of the ways WFP is helping an average of 90 million people a year focus on their futures:

•    Providing emergency food assistance to people affected by natural and manmade disasters, such as the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and the civil conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Central African Republic and South Sudan
•    Running or supporting school meals programmes in remote places, giving roughly 20 million of the poorest children a chance at a brighter future
•    Prioritizing the purchase of food in developing countries and from family and small-scale farmers to support local economies
•    Partnering with companies and organizations around the world to improve WFP operations, create innovative solutions and raise funds and awareness

More information about what zero hunger can do for people is available at www.wfp.org/WorldFoodDay.
 
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people around the world. Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media and @wfp

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):

Tyler Guthrie, WFP/Rome, Tel, +39 6513 3873, Mob. +39 348 024 4246
Emilia Casella, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 3854, Mob. +39 347 9450634
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Elisabeth Byrs, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. +41 79 473 4570
Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob.  +1-646-8241112

 

ROME – Amid several hunger emergencies – both natural and man-made – the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is marking World Food Day, 16 October, by highlighting both the challenges around the world and the real progress being made toward “zero hunger.”

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10/10/2014 - 12:24
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Hunger Run 2014 aims to draw wider attention to the fact that 805 million people suffer from chronic hunger, and to encourage popular action to bring about change.

This year, the money from the registration fees will help provide a daily meal for young students in developing countries under the World Food Programme (WFP)’s School Meals initiative.

Italian actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta will be at the starting line at Viale delle Terme di Caracalla to welcome participants. The Hunger Run Athletes Village at Terme di Caracalla Stadium will feature food from around the world, kids’ areas and information stands from the Hunger Run’s sponsors, partners and organizing agencies.

The yearly event is organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP) and Bioversity International with the technical support of Gruppo Sportivo Bancari Romani and the cooperation of the City of Rome.

This year, new institutional supporters have joined the Hunger Run including the European Union, Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Catholic charity Caritas Internationalis, with the continued support of the Region of Lazio.

Participants will include students from Rome International School, Marymount International School of Rome, St. Stephen’s International School, St George’s British International School and the American Overseas School of Rome.

To register, click on www.hungerrun.it or participants in the non-competitive 5 km run/walk can register on the day of the race from 8:00 am at the Terme di Caracalla Stadium.

More than 4,000 people took part in last year’s event, and money raised helped young people in Sudan learn about livestock production, under an FAO field project.

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A short promotional video featuring actress Cucinotta is available here.

Photographs from this year’s press conference are available here.

For more information please contact:
•    Katia Meloni, FAO, tel. 06 5705 4478, katia.meloni@fao.org
•    Enza Falco, IFAD, tel. 06 5459 2033, e.falco@ifad.org
•    Vichi De Marchi, WFP, tel. 06 6513 2058, vichi.demarchi@wfp.org
•    Olimpia Scalzitti, WFP,  tel. 06 6513 3495, olimpia.scalzitti@wfp.org
•    Nora Capozio, Bioversity International, tel. 06 6118 333, n.capozio@cgiar.org

 

 

Sunday 19 October at 10:00 am

ROME – Hunger Run 2014 will see thousands of people coming together in Rome to raise awareness and money to help reduce hunger in the world. The event, set for Sunday 19 October at 10 am, comprises a 10 km competitive race and a 5 km fun run/walk, through Rome’s historic centre.

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06/09/2014 - 10:40
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The three Rome-based  agencies, which share the goal of increasing food security, play an important role in the agricultural policy in DRC. They cooperate in political dialogue and sector coordination as well as in strategic planning, formulation and implementation of projects.

 "We receive this award as a recognition of our efforts and a vote of confidence. More importantly, it is an encouragement to do better and hold the agencies’ torch high. This award motivates us to work together even more effectively for the benefit of the people we serve", said Ndiaga Gueye, FAO Representative.

The agencies make regular efforts to pool their expertise on agriculture, food relief and rural development. Their teams work closely to support DRC in its efforts to ensure food security and agricultural development, mainly in the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, Orientale (Tshopo, Ituri, Haut and Bas-Uélé districts), Northern Katanga (Manono, Mitwaba and Pweto), Bandundu, Bas Congo and Kinshasa outskirts.

The agencies are also active in the effective coordination of support from various technical and financial partners in developing strategies and programmes for agricultural development, including the National Agriculture Investment Programme (NAIP), one of the key results of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

In this field, the Consortium builds on the experience of the Belgian Cooperation Agency. In November 2013, the Consortium supported a NAIP business meeting for fundraising, after supporting its formulation, finalization and validation process.

"Our three agencies undertake to continue efforts to improve to optimum levels our existing synergy, efficiency and productivity, without which this award would not have been given to us", said WFP Representative, Martin Ohlsen.

In January 2014, with the technical and financial partners’ support and following the recommendation of the New Partnership for the Development of Africa (NEPAD), the Consortium started working with the Government on a consultation process, which led to the development of a common roadmap on the improvement of governance in the agricultural sector.

IFAD’s Portfolio Officer, Rasha Omar, recognizes that "the honour in obtaining this award is also due to the efforts of all three agencies’ staff across DRC, who give themselves heart and soul to the fight against food insecurity and rural poverty".

The Award of Excellence « Working Together in the Field » was established by heads of the Rome-Based Agencies in 2012. The first award was won by Mozambique in 2013. It will now be awarded every two years from 2014. The award encourages agencies to keep advancing  their collaboration.

For further information, please contact :

Xavier Farhay, Communications Officer, FAO/Kinshasa, Email : Xavier.Farhay@fao.org, Mob. +243 82 415 8265
Claude Kalinga, Communications Officer, WFP/Kinshasa, Email : claude.kalinga@wfp.org, Mob. +243 81 700 6714
Rasha Omar,  Portfolio Officer, IFAD/Kinshasa, Email : r.omar@ifad.org, Mob. +243  97 002 0670

 

 

Kinshasa – The collective efforts of the three UN food and agriculture agencies in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been recognised in the 2014 Award of Excellence by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The award ceremony takes place on Friday, 6 June, 2014 in Rome, during an official session of WFP’s Executive Board.

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06/03/2014 - 14:14
RBA, Responding to Emergencies

The heads of the two agencies are expected to tell a special side event to WFP’s Executive Board meeting that urgently increased international support is needed to accelerate humanitarian efforts in the region.

Countries neighbouring C.A.R. are struggling to cope with more than 226,000 refugees and third-country nationals who have fled violence since December, many of whom are arriving malnourished after months of living in the bush. Cameroon, for example, where almost 90,000 people have arrived since December, is seeing acute malnutrition rates among refugees running at 20-30 percent, and higher still in some locations.

Currently, the existing Regional Refugee Response Plan for Central African Republic is only 9 percent funded. This plan involves UNHCR and 14 partners in the four countries affected by C.A.R. refugee crisis – Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo.

WHEN  4 June 13:45-14:45
WHERE  WFP Headquarters Rome
WHAT  Donor Briefing – Responding to the C.A.R. Crisis
WHO WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin,
UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres 
WFP CAR and Cameroon Emergency Coordinator Denise Brown
UNHCR Director of Africa Bureau George Okoth Obbo

Journalists/broadcasters interested in arranging interviews should contact:

Frances Kennedy, WFP/Rome Tel. (39) 06 6513 3725 Mob. (39) 346 7600806
Emilia Casella, WFP/Rome  Tel. (39) 066513 3854  Mob (39) +347 945 0634 [Call: +347 945 0634]
Melissa Fleming, UNHCR Geneva Tel +41 79 557 9122 [Call: +41 79 557 9122] fleming@unhcr.org
Babar Baloch, UNHCR Geneva Tel +41 79 557 9106 [Call: +41 79 557 9106] baloch@unhcr.org

 

 

ROME/GENEVA - Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme Ertharin Cousin and UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres will be in Rome tomorrow, 4 June 2014, in a joint push to draw attention to the plight of refugees and third-country nationals fleeing Central African Republic (C.A.R).

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04/04/2014 - 10:18
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ROME, 4 April 2014 -- The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) unveiled today the results of their joint work to develop targets and indicators for a new global development paradigm for sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition. This is a critical piece in the three agencies’ contribution to the ongoing intergovernmental discussions on the post-2015 development agenda, the successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Download Targets and Indicators document

The targets and indicators were presented at a high-level meeting at WFP headquarters, where the President of the Republic of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was guest of honour. The Italian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lapo Pistelli also attended the meeting.

Representatives from the three agencies stressed the need to finish the job of the MDGs that expire in 2015, but also to broaden their scope to address deeper issues of universal relevance like malnutrition, sustainable and inclusive food systems, and their inter-linkages. The three agencies identified a list of five targets:

•    Access to adequate food all year round for all people.
•    End malnutrition in all its forms with special attention to stunting.
•    Make all food production systems more productive, sustainable, resilient and efficient.
•    Secure access for all small food producers, especially women, to adequate inputs, knowledge, productive resources and services.
•    More efficient post-production food systems that reduce the global rate of food loss and waste by 50 percent.

The UN Rome-based agencies emphasized that progress in these areas would have to come through innovative partnerships - among governments, with the private sector, with development institutions, and with all members of society, from producers to consumers. New governance mechanisms would also be needed to monitor impact, ensure accountability, and give different stakeholders a voice in decision-making. Attention was drawn to the important role in global food security of small-scale food producers, who need to be at the centre of new investments and new partnerships for a hunger-free world.

“The overarching priority of the post-2015 development agenda is the eradication of poverty in all its forms,” said President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is co-Chair of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the post-2015 development agenda. “The Common African Position drawing from the African Union’s 2063 long-term agenda is a resolve to deliver on our various declarations and commitments on the social and economic integration, poverty eradication, and employment generation for our people. It aims to reorient the development paradigm away from externally-driven initiatives toward domestically-inspired and funded initiatives.”

The new targets are in line with the UN Secretary-General’s Zero Hunger Challenge, which envisions a world where, within our lifetime, no-one experiences chronic hunger and malnutrition. The work of the three Rome-based agencies has been consistently inspired by this shared vision.

FAO Deputy Director-General for Natural Resources, Maria Helena Semedo, stated that the targets would inform UN Member States currently negotiating a set of sustainable development goals. “There can be no sustainable development without eradicating hunger,” she said. “We believe that incorporating these five targets in the post-2015 development agenda will ensure a more comprehensive approach to tackling hunger, food insecurity, malnutrition – to nourishing people while nurturing the planet,” she noted.

Highlighting the collaboration of the UN agencies IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze said: “A future of ‘zero hunger’ will not be built by any one organization in isolation. We know that we are stronger and more effective when we work in partnership, including with the billions of rural women and men who work hard each day to ensure our food security.”

“Food security and nutrition play a critical role in shaping a brighter tomorrow for today's most vulnerable families particularly the children.  Eliminating hunger unlocks the potential of individuals, communities and nations,” said WFP Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin.  “Achieving these goals will require hardwiring equity into economic growth assuring no one is left behind.”

The three UN agencies stressed that successes associated with the MDGs have been substantial in some areas, such as halving the number of people living in extreme poverty, dramatically increasing the number of people with access to safe drinking water as well as boosting primary school enrolment.

But the agencies emphasized that gains were by no means universal and much work still needed to be done given that around 840 million people remain chronically hungry and that poverty continues to be pervasive in rural areas around the world.

The new development goals to be set by the UN General Assembly in 2015 should therefore be a catalyst towards the realization of the right to adequate food, improved nutrition, gender equality, focus on smallholders and sustainable and resilient food systems.

 

For more information, please contact:

Katie Taft

IFAD Communications
Tel: +39 366 5620976
k.taft@ifad.org
Erwin Northoff

FAO Media Relations
Tel +39 06 570 53105
Mob +39348 25 23 616
erwin.northoff@fao.org
Frances Kennedy

WFP Spokesperson
Tel: +39 06 65133725
Mob + 39 346 7600806
Frances.Kennedy@wfp.org

 

 

Liberian President and Italian Vice-Minister join high-level meeting of FAO, IFAD, WFP.

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04/02/2014 - 10:10
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President Johnson Sirleaf, a Nobel prize-winner and Africa’s first female head of state, will share her vision as Co-Chair of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). She will make a key note speech and take part in a panel discussion.

Other speakers will include WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin; Italy’s Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Lapo Pistelli; Deputy Director General, Coordinator Natural Resources, FAO, Maria Helena Semedo; Adolfo Brizzi, acting Associate Vice-President, IFAD.

Event:                        News Conference:
                                   Getting Ready for the Post-2015 Development Agenda:
Date:                          4 April 2014
Time:                          1330 – 1400hrs
Place:                          UN World Food Programme Rome Headquarters
                                     Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68/70,
                                     Parco de Medici,
                                     00148 Rome, Italy
            
Media Arrangements:

Media intending to attend this news conference should send their name, the organisation they represent by 2pm tomorrow (April 3) to: emanuela.cutelli@wfp.org  /  Journalists should bring a photo ID such as a passport, driving license, or registered journalist’s card.

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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. On average, WFP reaches more than 90 million people with food assistance in 80 countries each year.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media

For more information on the news conference please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Vichi de Marchi, WFP/Rome. Tel. +39 06 6513 2058, Mob. +39 348 051 7605
Frances Kennedy, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 3752, Mob. +39 346 7600806

 

 

 

ROME – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) invite journalists to attend a news conference to mark a special event organised by the Rome-based agencies in honour of Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia.

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12/23/2013 - 15:53
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Rome – The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have launched a  joint project to tackle the global problem of food losses.

Around one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted each year, amounting to 1.3 billion metric tons – or enough food to feed 2 billion people.

The three UN agencies will work together on the US $2.7 million project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation to target food losses in developing countries, which can occur during harvesting, processing, transportation and storage as a result of inadequate infrastructure or lack of skills and technology.

In particular, the three-year project will focus on reducing losses of grains and pulses such as maize, rice, beans and cow peas – staple foods that play a significant role in global food security and have a major impact on the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers.

According to a 2011 report by the World Bank, FAO and the United Kingdom’s Natural Resources Institute, grain losses in sub-Saharan Africa alone are worth potentially US $4 billion a year and could meet the minimum annual food requirements of at least 48 million people.

At a global level, the joint initiative will share knowledge on the most effective ways to reduce post-harvest losses and help countries introduce policies and regulations to cut down on wastage at national and regional level.

The project will also identify critical points for losses in pulse and grain supply chains in three African pilot countries – Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda – and identify and test potential solutions to issues such as ineffective harvesting and handling, storage moisture levels, attacks by rats, birds and other pests, and insect damage.

Food security

The UN project will contribute both to the Millennium Development Goal of improving food security and to the Zero Hunger Challenge launched in June 2012 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, which includes zero loss or waste of food as one of its main elements.

“When some 840 million people are going hungry every day, we have an ethical responsibility to ensure that food produced is in fact consumed and not lost or wasted,” said Jong Jin Kim, Director of FAO’s South-South and Resource Mobilization Division, speaking on behalf of all three Rome-based UN agencies. “Reducing food loss and waste will make significant amounts of additional food available, and at lower environmental costs, which is also critical in view of the need to produce 60 percent more food by 2050 to meet the demands of a growing population.”

According to FAO, the 1.3 billion metric tons of food lost and wasted each year use 250 km3 of water and 1.4 billion hectares of land, and add 3.3 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases to the earth’s atmosphere.

“By mobilizing the individual strengths of IFAD, WFP and FAO, and thanks to Switzerland’s  contribution, we believe the project will have significant impact and influence in stimulating member countries to take action to reduce food losses,” said Kim.

Food loss occurs mostly during production stages – harvesting, transportation and storage of food – while food waste typically takes place at the retailer and consumer end of the food supply chain.

In total, food losses and waste account for about 30 percent of cereals, 40-50 percent of root crops, fruit and vegetables, 20 percent of oilseeds, meat and dairy, and 30 percent of fish produced each year.

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About FAO
Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO's efforts - to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. FAO's mandate is to raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy. www.fao.org

About IFAD
IFAD is a financial institution which focuses on rural and agricultural development, creating the conditions for poor rural people to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. IFAD strives to develop robust innovative ways out of poverty for the rural poor.  www.ifad.org

About WFP
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance. www.wfp.org

For more information please contact:
FAO Media Office
(+39) 06 570 53625
FAO-Newsroom@fao.org|

Peter Smerdon
WFP Spokesperson
(+39) 06 6513 2150
(+39) 342 878 4107 (cell)
peter.smerdon@wfp.org

Katie Taft
Communications Officer, IFAD
(+39) 06 5459 2396
k.taft@ifad.org

 

Switzerland to fund $2.7 million project with pilot activities in three African countries

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12/14/2013 - 08:44
ED - E.Cousin, Preventing Hunger, RBA

DAR-ES-SALAAM/DODOMA — Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands today finished a three-day visit to Tanzania along with top officials of the three United Nations Rome-based food agencies to support accelerating the access of farmers to financial services.

Queen Máxima, in her capacity as the UN Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), led the delegation in exploring ways to link the UN’s food security and development activities in Tanzania with efforts by government, the UN and the private sector to boost access to savings, insurance, credit, payments and other financial services, especially for smallholder farmers and poor families in rural areas.

Queen Máxima traveled with Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), Maria-Helena Semedo, Deputy-Director-General for Natural Resources of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Adolfo Brizzi, the Director of the Policy and Technical Advisory Division at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), who represented the IFAD president.

The UN officials noted how FAO, IFAD and WFP programmes, investments, technical knowledge and expertise, along with the advice and outreach of the UNSGSA, can connect agriculture, food security and rural development issues with emerging national financial inclusion strategies and programmes. The UN works to enhance food security and agricultural production, while at the same time helping expand affordable access to financial services.

The delegation arrived in Tanzania on Wednesday from Ethiopia. In Dar-es-Salaam on Thursday, they joined the launch of the National Financial Inclusion Framework developed by the Bank of Tanzania, which aims in part to ensure that at least half of the adult population will have access to formal financial services by 2016. In a speech at the launch ceremony, the Queen said that the UN is committed to supporting the framework and commended Tanzania’s remarkable progress in expanding financial inclusion.

The delegation met the President of Tanzania as well as senior officials from government and financial organizations to discuss how to accelerate access to the financial services that help farmers manage irregular cash flows and respond to external shocks such as droughts and floods, invest in capital to improve their productivity, reach markets, and access insurance to mitigate risks of crop loss.

On Friday, they visited projects supported by FAO, IFAD and WFP in the Dodoma area, meeting with rural community members and smallholder farmers to discuss both progress and obstacles in accessing financial services. Greater financial inclusion is critical for small producers to engage in agro-processing and value chain development, as commercial banks often perceive them as ‘too risky’ for loans. Globally, 70 percent of poverty is rural; smallholder farmers are the largest group of working poor, and they are mostly excluded from formal financial systems. This is especially true for women and youth, who often face additional legal and policy barriers to accessing financial services, as well as disproportionate obstacles to training and information.

The UNSGSA and the heads of FAO, IFAD and WFP chose Ethiopia and Tanzania as two of the pilot countries for joint, country-level initiatives on food security, rural development and financial inclusion, due to the strength of those countries’ existing programmes, their agricultural and rural needs, government commitments to financial inclusion, and opportunities for joint work.

Visiting Tanzania, the UN delegation emphasized that access to financial services will help the benefits of the country’s economic growth reach poor people, create employment and encourage personal and social development. They praised the country’s commitment to improving financial inclusion, and said that with committed leadership and political support, there is much potential for scaling up access to diverse financial services for rural poor households, especially small-scale farmers.

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About UNSGSA

H.M. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands is an active global voice on the importance of inclusive finance for achieving development and economic goals. Designated in 2009 by the UN Secretary-General as his Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) Queen Máxima encourages universal access for individuals and enterprises, at a reasonable cost, to a wide range of financial services, provided by diverse responsible and sustainable institutions. She works in partnership with stakeholders globally to raise awareness, encourage leadership, and foster action toward financial inclusion. She is also Honorary Patron of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion. www.unsgsa.org

For more information please contact:

Media Resources

Tanzania trip ends with calls for more joint efforts on financial inclusion and food security.

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She has been accompanied on the visit by senior officials from the three Rome-based UN agencies focusing on food security, together underlining the role that expanding financial inclusion plays in strengthening food security, as well as how food security interventions can enhance access to affordable financial services for the poor. It is the first time the UNSGSA and the three UN food agencies have travelled together to focus on these issues, which are closely linked with economic growth and rural development agendas.

Travelling with the Queen on the trip were UN World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Ertharin Cousin, Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), and Adolfo Brizzi, Director of the Policy and Technical Advisory Division of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), who is representing the IFAD President.

The delegation met with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and members of his cabinet, as well as key players in the financial inclusion sector to discuss its role in helping improve food security in rural areas.

Queen Máxima stressed the importance of the Government of Ethiopia’s moves to strengthen the financial sector and make financial services more inclusive. She noted that greater access to affordable, timely and reliable financial services such as savings, payments, credit and insurance can help low-income households enhance their food security and resilience, as well as benefitting small business owners, smallholder farmers and other groups in terms of overall economic and rural development.

The delegation travelled to Hawassa in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) to see first-hand how the Rome-based food security agencies, FAO, IFAD and WFP, are working together with the government to make financial services more available to agricultural cooperatives and the rural poor.

They visited a school taking part in the “Purchase from Africans to Africa” project jointly implemented by the UN agencies and the Bureau of Education to improve food security and income generation activities of smallholder farmers by using the school’s food requirements to promote local food production. They spoke with small-scale farmers about how they manage their money, and with financial service providers about how to overcome obstacles to expanding access to basic financial services in rural areas.

More than 85 percent of Ethiopia’s population relies on small-scale agriculture for their livelihoods, and financial inclusion enhances food security. When small-holder farmers have access to a full range of affordable financial services, including savings, loans, insurance and money transfers, they can be better prepared to withstand natural disasters or to make investments in their land that can boost their productivity and income.

Poverty has sharply declined in Ethiopia over the last decade, but a third of the population remains below the poverty line, mostly in rural areas.

Joint press release by WFP, FAO, IFAD and UNSGSA

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About UNSGSA
H.M. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands is an active global voice on the importance of inclusive finance for achieving development and economic goals. Designated in 2009 by the UN Secretary-General as his Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) Queen Máxima encourages universal access for individuals and enterprises, at a reasonable cost, to a wide range of financial services, provided by diverse responsible and sustainable institutions. She works in partnership with stakeholders globally to raise awareness, encourage leadership, and foster action toward financial inclusion. She is also Honorary Patron of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion.  www.unsgsa.org

About FAO
Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO's efforts - to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. FAO's mandate is to raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy. www.fao.org

About IFAD
IFAD is a financial institution which focuses on rural and agricultural development, creating the conditions for poor rural people to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. IFAD strives to develop robust innovative ways out of poverty for the rural poor. In Ethiopia, efforts focus on delivering reliable financial services to over three million rural households including in pastoral areas; small-scale irrigation development; enhancing smallholder engagement with the marketing chains; and more recently sustainable land management. Enhancing the rural poor’s access to agricultural markets and financial services underpin IFAD’s collaboration and investment to create opportunities for adding value to agricultural produce and to stimulate alternative sources of incomes for rural households.  www.ifad.org

About WFP
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance. Through its food procurement, WFP spent about $845 million in developing country economies in 2012. This represents a huge potential opportunity for smallholder farmers. WFP is working with partners to remove the production and market bottlenecks, including lack of access to financial services, that prevent smallholder farmers from connecting with its purchasing power. www.wfp.org

About the collaboration among FAO, IFAD, WFP and UNSGSA
The objective is to explore how stronger collaboration among these three UN agencies combined with the advocacy efforts of the UNSGSA can advance inclusive financial services for rural households, farmers and enterprises, and accelerate progress toward ending hunger, reducing poverty and rural development.  

For more information please contact:
Marianne Wiltjer, Communications, Royal House Division, Government of the Netherlands, +31.6.183.04764, m.wiltjer@minaz.nl
Tewodros Negash, FAO/Addis, +251.911.422.991, tewodros.negash@fao.org
Wairimu Mbarathi, IFAD/Addis Tel: +251931087219 Email: w.mburathi@ifad.org
Challiss McDonough, WFP/Nairobi (in Addis), +254.707.722.104, challiss.mcdonough@wfp.org

High-resolution photos of the visit will be uploaded here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/faonews/

High-resolution photos of Queen Máxima are available:
http://www.koninklijkhuis.nl/foto-en-video/portretfotos/koningin-maxima/

 

ADDIS ABABA – Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), has just completed a two-day trip to Ethiopia to support Ethiopia’s efforts to make financial services more accessible to the rural poor.

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Queen Máxima joins the visit in her capacity as UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA). She arrived in Addis Ababa today at the start of a five-day trip to Ethiopia and Tanzania, together with Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), Maria-Helena Semedo,  Deputy-Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO),  and Adolfo Brizzi, the Director of Policy and Technical Advisory Division at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).  On Wednesday, the group is scheduled to travel to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where they will stay until 13 December.

Queen Máxima and the senior representatives of the three Rome-based UN food agencies –FAO, IFAD and WFP – will meet in both Ethiopia and Tanzania with senior government officials and high officials of national and international financial organizations. During field trips in both countries they will meet rural community members and smallholder farmers and discuss how expanding access to financial services can help farmers to manage irregular cash flows and respond to external shocks such as drought and flood, invest in capital to improve their productivity, reach markets and access insurance to mitigate risks of crop loss.

The UNSGSA and the three food agencies are working together with governments and the private sector to extend financial services to marginalized groups, especially women, who often face legal and policy barriers, as well as disproportionate obstacles to services, training and information.  Greater financial inclusion can also help increase the success of small producers who are not served by microfinance, but are also often perceived as ‘too risky’ by commercial banks.

On Thursday, 12 December, Queen Máxima will give the keynote speech during the launch of the National Financial Inclusion Framework at the Bank of Tanzania. A press conference will follow this event.

Press briefings of the four UN organizations will be held in Addis Ababa on 11 December and in Dar es Salaam on 13 December.

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Media contacts:
Mehdi Drissi, FAO Rome: tel: +39 06 5705 6479   email: mehdi.drissi@fao.org
David Paqui, IFAD Rome: tel: +39 06 5459 2213  email: d.paqui@ifad.org
Emilia Casella, WFP Rome: tel: +39 06 6513 3854  email: emilia.casella@wfp.org

Queen Máxima was in 2009 designated by the United Nations Secretary-General as his Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA). She is an active global voice on the importance of financial inclusion for achieving development and economic goals. Queen Máxima is also Honorary Patron of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion since 2011.
www.unsgsa.org

Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO's efforts - to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. FAO's mandate is to raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy.   www.fao.org

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with poor rural people to enable them to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. Since 1978, IFAD has invested over US$15 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries through projects empowering more than 410 million people to break out of poverty, thereby helping to create vibrant rural communities. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome – the United Nations’ food and agriculture hub. It is a unique partnership of 172 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). www.ifad.org

The UN World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance.  www.wfp.org

 

ADDIS ABABA – Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands and the three food agencies of the United Nations are teaming up to raise awareness of how access to financial services – such as bank accounts, short-term credit, small loans, savings and insurance – can help improve the lives and livelihoods of smallholder farmers and the rural poor.