Rome is central to the United Nations’ premier development, humanitarian and resilience assistance, services, knowledge and financing in the areas of food, agriculture, and transformative rural development. Together, three United Nations Rome-based Agencies (RBAs), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP) offer a vast range of knowledge, financial and technical expertise, and internationally recognized forums for discussing policy issues related to food security, agriculture, and nutrition.
WFP’s Integrated Road Map (IRM) was approved by WFP’s Executive Board in 2016. Comprised of the WFP Strategic Plan (2017-2021), the policy on Country Strategic Plans, the Financial Framework Review and the Corporate Results Framework, the IRM aligns WFP's strategy and programme structure, amongst others, to help achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. WFP prioritizes Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 on achieving zero hunger and SDG 17 on partnering.
Enhanced synergies among the RBAs are paramount to achieving SDG 2, which lies at the heart of their respective mandates. The three agencies share a common vision of ending hunger and malnutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture and rural transformation, with a particular focus on smallholder farmers – women and men alike. This vision is a critical global imperative and a pivotal element of the entire 2030 Agenda.
RBA collaboration is particularly relevant when adapted to country context to maximize each agency’s complementary capacities and strengths. The RBAs recognize that all the SDGs are interlinked, indivisible and interconnected, and that their approach to addressing these commitments must be multi-sectoral and inter-sectoral, requiring strategic partnerships across the international development community.
Supporting national governments in implementing the 2030 Agenda; promoting nutrition and resilience; gathering and supplying data and statistics to inform action; and providing joint technical support to the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) have been the current key priorities for collaboration among the three agencies. The CFS is an intergovernmental and multi-stakeholder platform for food security and nutrition. Its Secretariat, which is based in Rome, consists of staff from FAO, IFAD and WFP.
At the global level the RBAs work together on policy, advocacy and communications to advance a coordinated approach to promoting the food security and nutrition agenda. In countries, we leverage our presence, convening power and respective expertise to support government efforts to achieve the SDGs and assist people in need.
To help prevent shocks and crises, reduce their impact and encourage recovery and resilience building, the Rome-based agencies have established thematic teams and working groups, to which each of them contributes its unique competencies and strengths. These groups cover areas such as resilience, climate change, financial inclusion, value chain approaches for nutrition, South–South and triangular cooperation, food security information, Purchase for Progress, gender, food losses and waste, among others.
The three agencies also seek to increase efficiency and effectiveness through joint corporate services both at Headquarters and in the field. This includes sharing common office premises in many countries and joint activities in the areas of evaluation, audit, investigation, finance and administration.
The 2030 Agenda and the SDGs constitute the greatest opportunity ever presented for RBA collaboration. By capitalizing on the respective strengths of the RBAs, the joint vision represents a step forward to strengthening collaboration in support of Member States in implementing the 2030 Agenda. Finding the best way to work together is the only way forward.