Bangkok/Quezon City – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) today formalized its partnership with one of Asia’s leading civil society organizations working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote transformative, sustainable agriculture.
The CSO, Asian Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Asia (AsiaDHRRA), is a regional leader in building partnerships to empower farmers. It has been active since the 1970s and has been advising and collaborating with FAO in the Asia-Pacific region for more than a decade.
AsiaDHRRA has been instrumental in global, regional and national inter-governmental policy-making, consultations and decision-making processes. It has engaged with Governing Bodies facilitated by FAO, including the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and the biennial FAO Regional Conferences for Asia and the Pacific (APRC).
That relationship with FAO was formalized today following the virtual signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between AsiaDHRRA, based in the Philippines and FAO’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, based in Bangkok, Thailand, to strengthen its partnership work.
“The collaboration of AsiaDHRRA and FAO through the years has been very good, and this more formal arrangement will allow us to work together in closer partnership to accelerate our joint efforts to improve the livelihoods and food security of farmers and rural people,” said Jong-Jin Kim, Assistant Director-General and FAO Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific. “FAO is committed to working with a wider range of development partners, including CSOs and the private sector, in general, and most particularly during this exceptional point in history as the region and the world moves to recover from the effects of COVID-19.”
AsiaDHRRA and FAO, among other activities, will work to raise awareness about the UN Decade of Family Farming and the MoU will help to facilitate the establishment of partnerships and collaborations at the national level to promote family farming. It will play an important role in identifying ways to enhance the voice, representation and participation of rural organizations (including farmer’s organizations) as key stakeholders in policy dialogue and policy consultation processes.
“AsiaDHRRA hopes to be able to contribute in the more programmatic way in strengthening social structures that will respond to the calls of the poor and vulnerable, especially amidst the pandemic,” said Nguyen Xuan Hong, Chairperson of AsiaDHRRA. “We hope to join hands with FAO in its efforts to lead the recovery in the region, with the confidence that we have as grounded rural development organizations and agri-agencies, with the instinct and experience for decisive action, brought by decades of work within and across the region, and connected to global partnerships, in solidarity.”
FAO and AsiaDHRRA are already working together to provide technical advice and mentoring to rural organizations on agribusiness and financial management, with emphasis on gender, youth and environment and climate change issues.
FAO will also be collaborating with AsiaDHRRA to contribute to developing ASEAN’s Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (RDPE) Master plan 2020-2025, which provides a cohesive guiding framework for ASEAN’s rural development and poverty eradication strategies.