Multistakeholder Pledge: Agriculture, food systems, and food security
Forced displacement is both a driver and a consequence of acute food insecurity. According to the 2023 Global Report on Food Crises, in 2022 nearly 20 million refugees and asylum seekers (over 60% of refugees globally) were hosted in 55 countries experiencing food crises.
A significant proportion of refugees are reliant on humanitarian assistance to meet their food and basic needs, yet they have skills and experience in agriculture, and a strong desire to produce their own food and engage in economic activities related to food and agriculture across the food system. Expanding opportunities for refugees to engage in productive agricultural livelihoods will support improved, sustainable access to food, enhanced economic inclusion, and build durable solutions for refugees and host communities.
The multistakeholder pledge builds on the HLOM 2021 key cross cutting recommendations (6) Facilitate more systematic, inclusive and meaningful refugee participation; and (7) Enhance the data available to support effective action and investment in refugee situations; as well as key recommendations (12) Increase social inclusion for refugees; (13) increase economic inclusion and access to livelihoods, both of which fall under GCR Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance.
The specific commitments of the pledge will be achieved through three complementary, reinforcing pillars underpinned by strengthened partnerships: (1) policy, (2) programming, and (3) evidence generation.
Commitments will be evidence-informed and supported by relevant programmes, technical assistance, and financing mechanisms.
Against this background, the Global Network Against Food Crises will be an important platform that will help align these pathways to relevant global and regional policy efforts from a food crisis prevention perspective for refugee and host populations.
Actions under this pillar will seek to support and promote an enabling policy environment for refugees to engage in food systems, agriculture and agricultural livelihoods to achieve economic inclusion, strengthen food security and nutrition, resilience to shocks, self-reliance and improve social cohesion.
Actions under this pledge will involve partnering with host governments and regional organisations in the development/revision of legal frameworks and policies. This will include national and area-based development plans which foster a humanitarian-development-peace nexus approach to refugee inclusion and support refugee engagement in agricultural livelihoods, agricultural and food value chains and inclusive approaches to food systems strengthening; land tenure reform and land accessibility for refugee and displaced populations for agricultural purposes; and climate change adaptation and sustainable management of natural resources in refugee hosting locations.
Members and partners to the mega-pledge will develop and implement programmes and initiatives that prevent the deterioration of food security and reduce the reliance of displaced populations on emergency food assistance, whilst concurrently fostering climate resilient food systems and agricultural livelihoods by mainstreaming climate smart agriculture, anticipatory action, amongst other approaches, and delivering opportunities for refugees to contribute to local economies and markets. Programmes and initiatives will also seek to support sustainable natural resource management and the promotion of peaceful coexistence between refugees and host communities as a means of facilitating local integration, re-integration, or resettlement approaches, particularly in rural refugee hosting areas. These approaches will be underpinned by the generation of robust data, analysis and evidence.
Actions under this pillar will seek to identify and document learning and promote its application in existing agriculture, food security and food systems transformation efforts in refugee hosting areas. Actions will also promote the systematic inclusion of refugees in data collection and analysis, including but not limited to food security monitoring and early warning systems, which support programmes and initiatives under Pillar 2. Partners and members will also promote the systematic inclusion of food security and livelihoods data in existing data collection and analysis processes related to displacement. Furthermore, new research partnerships will be developed with refugee-hosting governments and research institutions (with a focus on local ones) to increase understanding and expand the evidence base on the impact of inclusive agriculture, food security and food systems policies and programming for displaced populations. Meaningful engagement and participation of refugees and hosting communities will be a critical component to these efforts. Finally, efforts will also include strengthened understanding of the financing landscape in refugee contexts and subsequent support for increased efficiency in the application of financing instruments towards refugee food security outcomes.
Supported by UNHCR.
Sally James, [email protected]
- 7 June - Pledge launch at virtual informal briefing
- June - Pledge leadership convening
- 12 September, 10:00 CEST - Multistakeholder pledge briefing session. Register online.
- TBD October - Convening of partners
- 14 December - Side event