The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat announced plans to launch a Mountain Facility, or funding mechanism, to address the increasing threat of hunger in mountain regions in developing countries.
27 April 2016: The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat announced plans to launch a Mountain Facility, or funding mechanism, to address the increasing threat of hunger in mountain regions in developing countries.
The announcement of the facility follows the 2015 launch of the report ‘Mapping the vulnerability of mountain peoples to food insecurity,’ released by FAO and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat on International Mountain Day. The report finds that the number of food insecure people living in mountain regions in developing countries increased from 253 million in 2000 to 329 million in 2012. Through the Mountain Facility, FAO aims to respond to this trend by supporting actions that empower vulnerable mountain communities; address long-term and emerging challenges related to climate change; increase market access; and promote natural resource management. The funding mechanism will also aim to increase food security and eradicate poverty, in line with the FAO Strategic Programme and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) relevant to hunger and poverty. FAO also aims to channel resources through the Mountain Facility with the goal of including mountains in national development plans and developing strong mountain-specific policies and institutions.
The announcement was made on Earth Day, 22 April 2016, at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, during a meeting convened by the Permanent Missions to the UN of Costa Rica, Italy, Switzerland and Uganda, four governments that belong to the Mountain Partnership. At the event, François Pythoud, Switzerland, stressed that investments in mountain regions are profitable and rewarding, and emphasized the importance of long-term support for the Mountain Partnership Secretariat. Davide Bradanini, Italy, invited coordinated action to widen the reach of the Partnership. FAO Assistant Director-General René Castro Salazar said that fighting hunger and boosting development worldwide cannot be discussed without giving special attention to the “plight and needs” of mountain peoples.
The Facility will raise funds to tackle hunger in mountain regions through five areas of intervention: local economies, climate change adaptation, natural resources, policy and capacity building. Examples of interventions include improving value chains of environmentally-friendly mountain products, increasing access to training and credit for vulnerable groups including women and indigenous peoples, and creating disaster risk management (DRM) plans that can help communities mitigate shocks. The facility also aims to support actions that preserve and restore water sources, soils and forests, and protect mountain biodiversity. [Mountain Partnership Press Release] [FAO Press Release] [Publication: Mapping the Vulnerability of Mountain Peoples to Food Insecurity] [IISD RS Coverage of 2015 Mountain Day and Report Launch]