Agriculture sector key to protecting livelihoods, addressing conflict and climate change risks


World Humanitarian Summit: FAO stresses prioritizing investments in crisis prevention and rural resilience to reduce humanitarian needs

 Agriculture, forestry and fisheries are central to ensuring food security and protecting livelihoods and play a key role in changing the way we manage risks and crises including natural disasters stemming from climate change, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today told participants at the World Humanitarian Summit

"Food and nutrition security, sustainable development, addressing humanitarian crises, conflict resolution and peace building: these are different facets of the same challenge," he said. 

The first condition to resolve conflicts is finding political solutions and this requires states and governments to uphold their responsibilities, Graziano da Silva said. 

"To move beyond business as usual, we need to broaden the scope of interventions - completing and supporting, not replacing - humanitarian response," he added. "We need to prioritize investments in prevention and resilience, precisely so that we can help reduce future humanitarian needs". 

FAO commitments: from delivering aid to ending need 

The Director-General noted that for decades FAO has worked in, and across both the humanitarian and development spheres in order to save lives, protect and restore livelihoods, combat hunger, malnutrition and poverty while striving to build resilience and sustainable food systems. 

At the World Humanitarian Summit FAO is making several key commitments. These include scaling up the Organization's work on social protection and cash transfer programmes by linking them to agriculture and rural development, and scaling up initiatives that link more closely food security and climate change adaptation measures. 

FAO is also committed to working with key partners including national governments, the private sector, civil society and local communities in developing an integrated framework for protracted crises that supports greater alignment among humanitarian, development, peace and human rights actors. 

In this context, Graziano da Silva today joined UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other top officials from six other UN institutions at the Summit to sign the document "Commitment to Action: Transcending humanitarian-development divides - Changing People's Lives: From Delivering Aid to Ending Need". 

Among other things, the Commitment to Action refers to the new way of humanitarian work elaborated in the UN Secretary-General's report for the Summit One Humanity: Shared Responsibility. 

It calls for a better use of resources and capabilities, improving the outcomes related to the Sustainable Development Goals for people in situations of risk, vulnerability and crisis in order to reduce humanitarian needs over the long term. 

The Commitment also calls on the signatories to galvanize new partnerships and collaboration, including through the private sector, local actors or Multilateral Development Banks to provide additional capabilities and resources in support of achieving measurable outcomes for people and communities. 

In addition the signatories pledged to introduce key changes to the way they work in contexts that enable the putting in place of: i) pooled and combined data, analysis and information; ii) better joined up planning and programming processes; iii) effective leadership for collective outcomes; and iv) financing modalities to support collective outcomes.

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