FAO Investment Center annual review highlights successes in 2020 and beyond – World
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the FAO Investment Center has increased its support for investments and policies in 120 countries around the world
June 28, 2021, Rome – Despite an unprecedented and difficult year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the work of the FAO Investment Center to support sustainable investments in food and agriculture continued in a sustained pace in 2020 – and are already in full swing in 2021, according to the latest edition of the Annual Review of the Investment Center.
The report highlights the main activities and results in terms of supporting public and private investments and promoting policies. It also shows priority areas for the coming years, including innovation, digital technologies and increased support for green investments.
“This annual review showcases some of the Centre’s remarkable achievements in 2020 and the range of its investment support – from the development of public and private investment strategies and programs to policy guidance, analytical studies and research. training, and scaling up innovative technologies and digital platforms for food and agriculture, blended finance mechanisms, ”said the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. agriculture (FAO) QU Dongyu in his foreword.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed great weaknesses in our global agrifood systems,” he continued.
“Investment is the key to transformation [them]. This is why our Members allocated more regular program resources to the Investment Center in 2020. As the pandemic progressed in 2020, the FAO Investment Center worked alongside Members and funding partners with FAO technical units and offices around the world to help prevent the global health crisis. to become a food crisis.
FAO’s Investment Center helped design 38 public investment projects approved by funding partners for more than $ 6.6 billion during the year, up 16 percent from 2019.
The Center also contributed to 31 agricultural strategies, 18 policy and analytical studies and 46 sector studies. He facilitated 24 public-private policy dialogue processes and participated in FAO hand-in-hand teams in 34 countries.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, FAO responded quickly to help countries navigate the new reality. Using digital technology and collaboration with FAO teams and partners around the world, the Center has been able to innovate and adapt quickly, drawing on virtual missions and local capacities to deliver policy. , capacity development, knowledge sharing and investment support tailored to specific realities. and the needs of a country.
The Center has worked with the World Bank and other long-standing partners to restructure ongoing investment projects and design new ones to tackle the challenges of COVID-19 in agrifood systems head-on. With the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Center prepared a joint COVID-19 package to fund technical assistance to limit short-term disruptions to agrifood value chains and build resilience. In Serbia and Ukraine, for example, two major exporters of wheat, maize and other grains, FAO and EBRD worked with the Ukrainian Grains Association and the Serbian Grains Association to develop guidelines on COVID-19 security adjustment measures.
The Center led the preparation of corporate policy briefs, including on wholesale markets, blended finance and support for small island developing states. He has also contributed to FAO’s online policy tools, including the use of big data to gain real-time information on the impact of COVID-19 on agrifood value chains, food prices and food security. global.
Full steam ahead
Going forward, the Center will continue to work with its partners to mobilize greater and more effective public and private investments in food and agriculture, including through blended finance and green finance instruments.
In collaboration with the European Union and CIRAD, the Center helps countries carry out assessments and dialogue on national food systems, with the aim of completing more than 50 assessments by the end of 2021. These results will provide rich contributions for stronger political and investment decisions around agribusiness. food systems and feed into the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit.
The Center will continue to share the latest knowledge and innovations in investing for a healthier, more sustainable and more inclusive future, including strengthening its Knowledge for Investment (K4I) program to fill knowledge gaps, increase visibility investment issues and engage with new audiences.
According to the director of the FAO Investment Center, Mohamed Manssouri, the decision of the FAO Executive Board in 2020 to inject many more resources into the Center means that it can “expand, provide more in-depth support investment in countries and strengthen and diversify partnerships and collaboration ”.
He added that “the quality and quantity of investments made today shape the impact and results of tomorrow”.