The Resilient Food Systems initiative is being implemented between 2017 – 2022. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) led the programme design and provides its core grant financing (USD 116 million), along with strategic guidance. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) leads the implementation of the whole programme and is the GEF agency responsible for Burkina FasoEswatiniKenyaMalawiNiger and Tanzania country projects, in addition to co-leading (with UNIDO) the Senegal project.

In terms of governance, the Resilient Food Systems Programme benefits from strategic and policy guidance provided by a Consultative Committee comprising senior policy makers from all 12 countries and representatives from funding and implementing partners. The Consultative Committee provides strategic and policy guidance for the programme, advising participants as and when required with regard to implementation and other issues that might affect the achievement of programme’s objectives. When needed, technical advisory groups are also constituted with subject-matter experts from selected partners and external collaborators to guide the Programme on specific technical or scientific issues.

The Programme Coordination Unit, comprising members of the Regional Hub partners, is hosted by World Agroforestry in Nairobi, Kenya. If you would like to collaborate with us or you would like more information, please contact us.




Funding Partners

The GEF led the programme design and provides its core grant financing (USD 116 million), along with strategic guidance. The Facility was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, the GEF has provided over $17 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $88 billion in financing for more than 4,000 projects in 170 countries. The Global Environment Facility has become an international partnership of 183 countries, international institutions, civil society organizations, and private sector to address global environmental issues.

IFAD leads the implementation of the whole programme and is the GEF agency responsible for Burkina Faso, Eswatini, Kenya, Malawi, Niger and Tanzania country projects, as well as a co-lead (with UNIDO) of the Senegal project. The Fund’s comparative advantage lies in its work related to land degradation, rural sustainable development, integrated land management, and its role in the implementation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. IFAD has been working intensively in marginal lands, degraded ecosystems and in post-conflict situations.

Implementing Partners

AGRA collaborates with UNDP on greening regional food value chains and improving their resilience (Component 2.1, Regional Hub). AGRA is an alliance of partners – including farmers and their organizations, governments, agricultural research organizations, the private sector, local nongovernmental organizations, and civil society – working to significantly and sustainably improve the productivity and incomes of smallholder farmers in the continent.

Bioversity International works with UN Environment and Conservation International to strengthen capacity to apply appropriate tools and practices for monitoring resilience at multiple scales (Component 3.3, Regional Hub). The organization also collaborates with UN Environment and FAO on activities related to establishing a Science-Policy Interface and a scientific knowledge support interface, as well as on promoting wide-scale and enhanced uptake of INRM (Component 1.2, Regional Hub). Bioversity International delivers scientific evidence, management, practices and policy options to use and safeguard agricultural and tree biodiversity to attain global food and nutrition security.

CI is an executing partner of the Regional Hub project, being responsible for the development of frameworks for multi-scale monitoring and assessment of ecosystem services and socio-economic benefits, as well as for operationalizing a framework for monitoring global environmental benefits in all target geographies (Components 3.1 and 3.2, Regional hub). CI works globally with governments and engages with all sectors of society to achieve the ultimate goal of improved human well-being, particularly focusing on the essential services that nature provides. The foundation leverages its science, experience in innovative finance and community-based solutions, as well as its network of partnerships, to effectively tackle challenges in the areas of biodiversity, climate change adaptation and mitigation, land degradation and international waters.

FAO, along with the UN Environment, co-leads the creation and strengthening of integrated institutional frameworks and mechanisms, in particular the development of the Science-Policy Interface (Component 1.1, Regional Hub). The Organization also promotes (with UNDP and AGRA) the scaling-up of integrated approaches, targeting specifically the wide-scale and enhanced uptake of integrated natural resource management (INRM) to foster sustainability and resilience in production landscapes and agroecosystems (Component 2.1, Regional Hub). In addition, FAO is responsible for implementation of the national projects in Burundi and, along with UNDP, Uganda. As an agency of the United Nations aiming at defeating hunger, FAO provides technical support, is a source of knowledge and information, and helps developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices, ensuring good nutrition and food security for all.

UNDP co-leads the scaling-up of integrated approaches, along with FAO and AGRA, focusing particularly on greening regional food value chains and improving their resilience across the 12 programme countries (Component 2.1, Regional Hub). Furthermore, UNDP is responsible for implementation of the projects in Ethiopia, Nigeria and, along with FAO, Uganda. UNDP works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. It helps countries develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.

UN Environment collaborates with FAO on the development of institutional frameworks, leading in particular the establishment of a scientific knowledge support interface to provide options to promote and underpin innovations for sustainability and resilience of agroecosystems (Component 1.2, Regional Hub). The organization also works with Conservation International and Bioversity International on the monitoring and assessment of global environmental benefits and resilience (Component 3.3, Regional Hub). It focuses in particular on strengthening national capacity to apply appropriate tools and practices for monitoring resilience at multiple scales. The UN Environment coordinates the United Nations work on environmental activities, assisting developing countries in implementing environmentally-sound policies and practices. It brings to the programme a range of relevant experiences, proof of concept, testing of ideas, and the best available science and knowledge upon which it can base its investments. It also serves as the Secretariat to three of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements, for which the GEF is the/a financial mechanism.

UNIDO is responsible, with IFAD, for implementing the Agricultural Value Chains Support Project in Senegal. UNIDO is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability. Its comparative advantage for the programme lies in its capacity to involve the industrial sector in relevant areas, as well as in its extensive knowledge of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in developing and transition economy countries.

ICRAF hosts and manages the Programme Coordination Unit at its Nairobi headquarters, ensuring coordination, reporting and general management functions across all 13 projects for programmatic impact, visibility and coherence (Component 4, Regional Hub). The Centre brings to this initiative 40 years of scientific excellence that harnesses the benefits of trees for people and the environment. Leveraging the world’s largest repository of agroforestry science and information, ICRAF develops knowledge products and practices for farmers’ fields to the global sphere, to ensure food security and environmental sustainability.

The World Bank oversees the implementation of the Sustainable Land and Water Management Project in northern Ghana. The World Bank Group is a leading international financial institution at the global scale in a number of sectors, having strong experience in investment lending, focusing on institution building, infrastructure development and policy reform across all the focal areas of the GEF.

Technical Advisory Partners

ESA collaborates with the Regional Hub on the monitoring and assessment of the programme impact at multiple scales. In particular, its Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD) initiative supports and complements key programme resources, with Earth Observation (EO) services and capacity for land monitoring and assessment at both country project and regional levels. The EO4SD project contributes, in particular, with information on biomass production, agricultural water productivity, water consumption and deficit, as well soil erosion potential, among others, designed for monitoring sustainable and integrated land management to inform the Programme-Level Indicators. Through the EO4SD “Agriculture and Rural Development Cluster”, ESA aims at mainstreaming the use of EO information products and services at large scale for international development projects.

GEF STAP contributes to the programme in a technical advisory capacity, providing guidance on scientific and technical issues related to achieving global environmental, socioeconomic and food security benefits at programme level. GEF STAP comprises several expert advisers supported by a Secretariat, which are together responsible for connecting the GEF to the most up to date, authoritative, and globally representative science.