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Food security, agriculture and humanitarian response in Rome

The Rome-based UN agencies work with food security, agriculture and humanitarian assistance, and Norway is a consistent partner with the agencies in all the fields. Gender equality and human rights are cross-cutting issues.

Food security and agriculture

Norway's international support to food security in a climate change perspective is rights-based and directed towards smallholders in general and women smallholders in particular. Norwegian policies build on the guidelines agreed on by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). The purpose of the support is to increase productivity, build resilience and strengthen the smallholders' ability to influence decisions that have a direct impact on their lives. Norway requests gender-sensitive data and reporting in order to be able to evaluate progress in this area. Norway also supports the sustainable use of genetic diversity in the agriculture sector, both financially and in the international dialogue. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault safely stores agricultural seeds so that a duplicate sample is available should the need arise.

Support for food security offers unique opportunities for reducing vulnerability and building resilience, and strengthening the link between humanitarian and long-term assistance.

Norway's financial support to food-related interventions reached NOK 1.8 billion in 2015 (USD 220 million) – equal to 5 % of the total Norwegian aid budget. Close to NOK 1 billion of this support was channelled through the Rome-based UN agencies FAO, WFP and IFAD.


Humanitarian assistance

An important part of Norwegian foreign and international development policy is concerned with saving lives, alleviating suffering and protecting civilians affected by war and conflict. Norwegian humanitarian efforts are focused on countries where there are great, unmet humanitarian needs, where Norway is particularly well placed to make a contribution, or where the measures concerned support peace and reconciliation processes.

The prevention of humanitarian crises is important, and the Government supports disaster risk reduction.

The humanitarian budget is distributed between key partners with focus on particular countries and particular thematic areas. It includes core funding to the WFP and project support to humanitarian response in FAO.


Gender equality and women’s empowerment

Norway strives to be a strong global voice for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. By defining clear priorities in its development cooperation and in various international forums and processes, Norway supports the improvement of women's and girls' living conditions and rights all over the world. Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are key to achieving sustainable development outcomes overall and an important priority for Norway. SDG5 will guide Norway's development cooperation in this area. A new action plan on gender equality and women's rights in Norway's foreign and development policy (2016) supports the 2030 Agenda's gender dimension and the full implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action.

Gender equality and women’s empowerment is mainstreamed into Norway’s development cooperation and humanitarian assistance in Rome.


Human rights

Norwegian development cooperation and humanitarian assistance is human rights-based. A human rights-based approach to development cooperation builds on individual rights set by the human rights commitments and obligations of the countries concerned. This approach serves to quality assure development cooperation and contributes to sustainable results regardless of sector and theme.

As a large contributor to WFP, FAO and IFAD, Norway is actively promoting the integration of human rights concerns into these organisations’ activities.