ROME, ITALY – The Department for International Development of the United Kingdom (DFID) and Food and Agriculture of the United Nations (FAO) recently said they are strengthening their partnership with a new agreement that will benefit future collaborations on a multitude of fronts.

"FAO and DFID share a vision for a world where communities are food secure, their productive assets are protected and the world's natural resources are managed sustainably," FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, said.

"Thanks to the U.K.'s ongoing support to many areas of FAO's work, we have been able to build toward that vision together and will now be able to do so more strategically and efficiently moving forward," he said.

The new FAO-DFID framework agreement serves as an overarching legal umbrella for collaboration between both partners that will cover all future projects for at least 10 years. By eliminating the need to negotiate individual trust fund agreements for each new project, the new arrangement will save costs and time and make collaboration easier, they said.

Between 2012 and 2015, the U.K. government has been the third largest overall donor to FAO with contributions exceeding $360 million. It has also been one of the few global resource partners able to increase its overall development assistance funding despite financing constraints.

DFID has supported a diverse set of FAO projects over a number of years, targeting problems ranging from the illegal timber trade to a lack of comprehensive agricultural data in many parts of the world.
FAO has played a key role in supporting the country's most vulnerable people to produce more food, access new markets and expand into new agricultural enterprises.

To support these efforts, DFID is contributing $48 million to an FAO project under the Zimbabwe Livelihoods and Food Security Program (LFSP) that aims to raise smallholder farm productivity. The project introduces farmers to climate-smart agricultural practices, increases their access to finance and markets, and encourages communities to grow and consume more nutritious foods.