FAO, IFAD, IMO and WFP released a report on migration drivers, patterns, impacts, challenges and opportunities.
The study examines evidence on the drivers of migration, from poverty and food security to environmental and climate factors.
The report recommends investing in rural development, sustainable agriculture, climate change adaptation and resilient livelihoods to address the adverse drivers of migration from rural areas.
August 2018: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have released a report that analyzes the direct and indirect interlinkages between migration, agriculture, food security and rural development. The report highlights the role of agriculture and rural development in addressing the adverse drivers of migration.
Titled, ‘The Linkages between Migration, Agriculture, Food Security and Rural Development,’ the study focuses on several factors that influence rural people’s decision to migrate, including poverty, hunger, environmental degradation and climate shocks, conflict, economic factors and employment opportunities. As an illustration, the report describes the direct relationship between food security and migration, explaining that people often migrate to escape hunger. The report finds that when poor rural households are concerned about food security, they are most likely to decide that an adult should migrate in search of employment to reduce the family’s risk of hunger and extreme poverty. In addition, seasonal migration helps to “smooth out” income and food consumption.
Providing support in areas closest to people’s countries of origin can provide social benefits when situations stabilize.
The report highlights challenges and opportunities related to migration, from the impact of migration on the countries of origin and destination to the potential to capitalize on opportunities created by migration trends. In rural areas, remittances from migrants can help alleviate poverty and food security and promote investments in local economic opportunities. The report estimates that remittances help to sustain millions of families globally. Conversely, the report cautions that rural to urban migration can have negative implications for agricultural productivity as a result of rural labor shortages and can further affect intra-household labor patterns and add to women’s work burdens.
The report calls for adequate humanitarian assistance alongside livelihood and resilience-building support for refugees and people who are internally displaced within their own countries. In particular, the report recommends providing support in areas closest to people’s home countries or countries of origin, explaining that such an approach can ensure social benefits when situations stabilize as well as cost efficiencies.
The report further recommends investing in rural development, sustainable agriculture, climate change adaptation and resilient livelihoods to address the adverse drivers of migration from rural areas. The report also suggests ensuring that migration is safe, orderly and regular; in other words, ensuring that migration is an “informed choice rather than a response to distress.” [IFAD Report Webpage] [Publication: The Linkages between Migration, Agriculture, Food Security and Rural Development]