FAO Investment Centre’s 2022 Annual Review looks at achievements and priorities
Investment and finance solutions play a critical role in transforming our agrifood systems, especially at a time when multiple shocks keep pushing more people into hunger and poverty.
This is an area where “the FAO Investment Centre is leading that charge,” QU Dongyu, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), wrote in the foreword of the 2022 Annual Review of the Centre, which for nearly 60 years has been helping countries and financing partners make more and better agri-food investments to reduce poverty, hunger and malnutrition, improve rural livelihoods and protect the environment.
“We must act together – and quickly – to tackle these global challenges for a healthier, more sustainable future that leaves no one behind. That means transforming the way our agrifood systems work, from how we produce, supply and consume our food to how we reduce food losses and waste in our landfills. Ultimately, the goal is to help countries realise the four betters – better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all,” Qu wrote.
According to the review published, 2022 saw the Centre clock some notable achievements against the backdrop of volatile food, fertiliser and fuel prices, supply chain disruptions, conflict, the climate crisis, humanitarian emergencies and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those include support in the design of 45 public investment projects in 32 countries, worth a total of $8.8 billion in new investments – up 22 per cent from the previous year’s $7.2 billion.
They also include investment policy contributions in 65 countries, along with 52 agricultural strategies, 25 sector studies, 17 policy studies and 6 policy dialogues, as well as 54 new knowledge products – from a high-profile study on carbon neutrality in agrifood systems to investing in youth in Africa, among others.
Of particular note was the first Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum, which was held during the 2022 World Food Forum, and matched 20 Hand-in-Hand countries and three regional initiatives with potential investors.
Above all, the Centre entered a transformative period of its own in early 2022 with the launch of its Transformation Plan, the so-called “4+2 solutions,” which seeks to make it even more fit-for-purpose, structured and staffed to respond to the growing and evolving demand from Members and investors.