The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) today announced the launch of a new $5 million project supported by the FAO-China South-South Cooperation (SSC) Programme to assist Small Island Developing States (SIDS) strengthen their capacities and tackle common development challenges.
The project, announced at the Fourth SIDS Solutions Dialogue held in Geneva today, covers an initial period of three years, from 2022 to 2025 and will focus on areas such as increased innovation, digitalization and knowledge exchange to assist SIDS in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the SAMOA Pathway.
“The message that resonated most loudly during today’s dialogue is the urgent need for investment in capacity building, adaptation strategies and enhanced support to transform SIDS agrifood systems to become more resilient, efficient, sustainable and inclusive. This funding is timely and reiterates the high priority that FAO places on SIDS and the transformation of their agrifood systems to achieve better production , better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all.” FAO’s Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo said in her address at the Dialogue.
Fragile ecosystems, high vulnerability to climate change, natural disasters, external economic shocks, distance from global markets, and high rates of all forms of malnutrition and food-related diseases are just some of the challenges hindering the development process for SIDS. Exacerbating this condition has been the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a substantial negative impact on rural livelihoods.
All these factors contribute to the need for expertise and technical support, as well as financial investment in sustainable food production, distribution, and consumption models.
The project will be coordinated by FAO’s Office of Small Island Developing States, Least Developed Countries and Landlocked Developing Countries (OSL), together with the FAO’s South-South and Triangular Cooperation Division (PST).
Fostering knowledge exchange for greater resilience
The projects designed to build more resilient agrifood systems, improve the management of fisheries resources and enhance sustainable rural development in SIDS through shared experiences and technology exchanges with key partners, such as Member States, UN agencies, the private sector, NGOs, academia, and specific international institutions.
In addition to the expertise and direct support of the People’s Republic of China and other cooperating partners, the programme will also promote the exchange of experience among SIDS on issues related to the transformation of agrifood systems, both at the interregional and intraregional level.
Additionally, the programme provides for the organization of activities including policy dialogues/fora, technical exchanges, training, innovation competitions, study visits and other specific assistance to SIDS supported by FAO.
FAO’s key role in south-south and triangular cooperation and SIDS development
Over the past 40 years, FAO has built a broad portfolio of South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) initiatives, working with member countries in the South and North, and contributing to increasing food security. The FAO-China South-South Cooperation Programme was established in 2009 and has seen the implementation of 25 national, regional, interregional, and global projects in support of agricultural development and food security.
In August 2021, FAO launched the SIDS Solutions Platform, a useful tool to further promote SSTC by facilitating access to knowledge and creating a space for sharing and exchange.
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