BEIJING, CHINA — Qu Dongyu, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), said partnerships with the private sectors are vital for raising production and nutrition levels for the world’s most vulnerable people who are poor or undernourished, during the Second Philanthropy Summit for Sustainable Development in Beijing.

Qu welcomed a $15 million donation to FAO from the Ningxia Yanbao Charity Foundation. The donation will be used to establish a joint FAO-Yanbao fund to support talent in agriculture and, in particular, facilitate research to achieve food security and nutrition.

Qu said the private sector had an important role to play in building partnerships and working to create a world without hunger in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“The private sector has shown interest to support sustainable development, and to work with FAO to help the most vulnerable communities, including youth and women, as well as vulnerable smallholders through inclusive pro-poor interventions,” he said.

The sustainability summit brought together business leaders and representatives from the Ford Foundation, the Paulson Institute, Grameen Foundation, Fondazione FICO, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tsinghua University and other institutions from around the world.

Qu invited the private sector to work with the FAO on supporting innovations and improved technologies, including rural digitalization where smartphones can be used as a new farming tool for weather and drought prediction, pest monitoring, food prices, access technical guidance and as a gateway to e-commerce.

“Partnerships are vital and leadership essential,” he said.

The FAO recently launched the Hand-in-Hand Initiative, which aims to enable “matchmaking,” bringing together donors and recipients to support development efforts in the landlocked countries, small island developing states, least developed countries and countries affected by food crises.

The Ningxia Yanbao Charity Foundation has been working to promote practical solutions to achieve a more sustainable future since it was founded and held its first summit in August 2018.