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FAO + Ireland: Partnering for a peaceful, equal and sustainable world

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Partnership at a glance

Since becoming a member of FAO in 1946, Ireland has remained a steadfast and committed partner in the global fight against hunger and malnutrition. FAO is acutely aware that fighting food crises and famine, resolving conflicts, and ending poverty and forced migration holds a special meaning for the Irish people. This report demonstrates the valuable contribution that Ireland, through its partnership with FAO, has made to the lives and livelihoods of smallholder farmers and their families throughout the world.

Ireland is an agile and innovative force within FAO, supporting all Core Functions of the Organization to deliver results-focused outcomes that reach the furthest behind first. The largest share of funding during the 2014–2020 period went to the Organization’s efforts to increase the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises (88 percent), followed by its work to eradicate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition (7 percent). In the same period, more than half of Ireland’s voluntary contributions were directed to projects in Africa (70 percent), the Near East (14 percent) and Asia and the Pacific (13 percent).

During the 2014–2020 period, Ireland’s support to FAO’s resilience programme helped farming families in conflict-affected countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and the Syrian Arab Republic bridge the humanitarian and development nexus to rebuild their lives and livelihoods, while creating the stable conditions necessary for lasting peace. In the fight to end hunger and malnutrition, Ireland’s support created innovative digital solutions for pest detection and control in Ethiopia and Kenya, national early warning systems in the Central African Republic and Sierra Leone, and helped end food loss and waste in Malawi and Timor-Leste, while through the Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA) it is allowing FAO to respond faster and more effectively to prevent and manage emerging crises. In addition, Ireland’s most recent contribution of USD 1.2 million (EUR 1 million) will enable FAO to scale up support for food security and the resilience of rural communities affected by natural shocks and conflict in the Niger, as well as to provide targeted assistance toward improving surveillance and control of the desert locust invasion in Kenya.

FAO also recognizes Ireland’s strong agricultural heritage, and the successful transformation of Ireland’s food system into a leading example of inclusive and sustainable food production. Through SSTC, Ireland and FAO have been partnering with the African Union Commission (AUC) on sustainable food system projects in sub-Saharan Africa. Ireland is sharing its knowledge and expertise in sustainable food systems to help transform agriculture and food production in Angola, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Ireland is also a strong supporter of FAO’s normative and standard-setting work, such as: the safeguarding of the legitimate rights of people to own, use and access land, forests and fisheries under the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT); the preservation of valuable agricultural resources through the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA); and the protection of consumer health and the promotion of fair practices in international food trade through the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the Codex Alimentarius.

FAO is also grateful for Ireland’s leadership of its European institutions, and for chairing the Executive Committees of both the European Commission on Agriculture (ECA) and the European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (EuFMD) during the 2019–2021 period.

FAO looks forward to continuing its strong relationship with Ireland, guided by a new Framework Agreement, in the areas of sustainable food systems, nutrition, gender and youth, climate action, resilience building and reducing humanitarian needs, and global governance of food systems and nutrition. FAO is proud to partner with Ireland to deliver on the commitments of A Better World and our shared vision for a more peaceful, equal and sustainable world free from hunger.

Joint action on COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is compounding existing global challenges, jeopardizing human health and disrupting the food systems that are the foundations of health.

In the coming years, FAO’s holistic COVID-19 response will focus on seven key priority areas:

  1. data for decision-making;
  2. economic inclusion and social protection to reduce poverty;
  3. trade and food safety standards;
  4. boosting smallholder resilience for recovery;
  5. preventing the next zoonotic pandemic;
  6. food systems transformation; and
  7. global humanitarian response plan.