FACT SHEET on the three UN Organizations in Rome


The most important figures at a glance: Find out about the three UN agencies in Rome.


Issues of global concern

  • Population development: By 2050, the world population will have risen to almost 10 billion people, which will require a 50% increase in food production.
  • Combat extreme poverty (SDG 1): 736 million people currently live below the extreme poverty line (USD 1.90 per day), 80% of them in rural areas.

    After 25 years of falling extreme poverty, it is rising again and it is estimated that an additional 100 million people have been added as a result of COVID19.

  • Food insecurity (SDG 2): 821 million people suffer from chronic hunger (increase of 37 million since 2014, i.e. back to the level of 10 years ago).

    Achieving “Zero Hunger” by 2030 requires investments of USD 180 billion p.a. in rural areas, of which 2/3 in the agricultural sector alone.

    3 billion people cannot afford healthy Food.

  • Climate resilience: In 2017/18, less than 2% of climate finance went to smallholder producers and their communities, who operate 95% of the world's farms.

    Annual climate adaptation costs in developing countries are estimated at USD 140-300 billion per year by 2030, while climate finance has so far been largely (18:1 ratio) directed towards climate impact mitigation.

    USD 463 billion is invested annually in climate activities, but only USD 22 billion of this is in sectoral climate adaptation.

    Analyzing climate impacts on staple food production in eight African countries, an IFAD report concludes that they could lose up to 80% by 2050 due to climate change.

  • The relevance of smallholder agriculture: About 95% of the world's farms operate on less than 5 hectares of land.

    It is estimated that these smallholder farmers produce up to one-third of the world's food and 80% of the food in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

    The contribution of the agricultural sector to GDP in this region is 15%. 52% of employment in low-income countries in Africa and 40% of employment in South Asia is in agriculture.

    And of the 1.7 billion women in developing countries, 60% work in agriculture in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa alone, and are not only further affected by existing problems such as access to land, credit, and services, but also disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change and the COVID19 pandemic.

    At the same time, they are key to improvement; studies show that if women had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase agricultural returns by 20-30% and production by 2.5-4%, freeing 100-150 million people from hunger.

    Most of the extreme poor living in rural areas derive their income from agricultural activities.

    Agriculture is the world's largest sector of employment and currently provides a “living” for 40% of the world's population.

    47% of the labor force is provided by women.

    90% percent of farms are family farms.

    500 million of these smallholder farms produce about 80% of the world's food.

    60% of young Africans under 25 are unemployed.

The biggest humanitarian crises

  • Afghanistan: 22.8 million people are food insecure, 8.7 million of them in emergency situations. WFP operates in all provinces of the country and plans to reach 23 million people this year.
  • Yemen: 17.4 million people are acutely food insecure, including 5.6 million at high risk and 31,000 already in famine.
  • Ukraine: WFP plans to reach 3.1 million people within the UKR and of 200,000 people in neighboring countries with massive food assistance.
  • Syria and neighboring countries: Within Syria, about 12.4 million people are facing acute food insecurity, 1.3 million of them in emergency situations. WFP has assisted approximately 5 million people in the past. In neighboring Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon, WFP is assisting about 1 million Syrian refugees.
  • South Sudan: 8.3 million people (75% of the population) are acutely malnourished. WFP has fed 2-3 million people in each of the past months.
  • Nigeria: 8.7 million people are acutely malnourished in the northeast of the country, 4.4 million of whom are totally dependent on food aid. WFP has assisted 1 million-1.5 million people in each of the past months.
  • DR Congo: About 27 million people are acutely food insecure, and about 3.4 million children under 5 are severely malnourished. It is the largest hunger crisis in Africa. WFP supports about 6 million people.
  • Sahel: In Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, 6.4 million people are affected by acute food insecurity, 14.4 million need food aid. WFP plans to assist 8.4 million affected.
  • Haiti: about 1 million people are acutely malnourished, nearly half the population does not have enough to eat. WFP plans to reach 1.5 million affected.
  • Madagascar: In southern Madagascar, nearly 1.5 million people need urgent food assistance. WFP plans to reach 1 million of them.


Challenge: The World Food Programme (WFP) is the largest humanitarian organization in the UN system and the logistical backbone of the international humanitarian system. Last year, WFP assisted 128 million people in 88.

In addition to humanitarian food assistance, WFP focuses significantly on building local resilience to preemptively reduce the impact of natural disasters and shocks on populations.

WFP reaches beneficiaries through direct delivery of food and through distribution of vouchers and cash transfers (USD 3.3 billion , 45% of total WFP - nutrition assistance WFPs ). The latter has the advantage of allowing beneficiaries to purchase essential commodities in the domestic market themselves and strengthening the local economy.

The primary goal is to ensure the food supply for people in need and at the same time to prevent malnutrition. The focus here is on supporting those in need in crisis regions; two-thirds of the work is carried out in countries with acute conflicts. The logistics department, which moves 5600 trucks, 100 airplanes and 30 cargo ships every day, provides support in fulfilling the missions.

Germany as a donor: In 2021 alone, the German government contributed more than USD 1.4 billion to WFP's mandate, making Germany the organization's second largest bilateral donor. The European Commission was also heavily involved, contributing USD.


Challenge: The Food and Agriculture Organization is the largest specialized organization of the United Nations. Its goals are to fight hunger and poverty worldwide, to strengthen agricultural production and rural development, and to promote sustainable resource management. FAO has 194 member states and the European Union (EU) is also a member. Its regular budget is around USD 500 million per year.

Priority areas are: the right to food and other strategies for sustainable food security, the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGT), support for sustainable production and site-appropriate production methods, the importance of bioenergy for food security, combating malnutrition and undernourishment, food systems.

Germany as a donor: The Federal Republic is the fourth largest contributor to FAO in terms of compulsory contributions, with a volume of around USD 29 million/year (2020).

In addition, FAO receives voluntary contributions totaling around USD 950 million annually.

Germany also provides voluntary funding to FAO: since 2002, Germany has supported 122 projects with a total volume of around 150 million euros through a Bilateral Trust Fund (as of 2022).

The aim of the voluntarily funded projects is to support states in ensuring a qualitatively and quantitatively balanced diet for every individual.


Challenge: The International Fund for Agricultural Development is a specialized UN agency with 177 member states and the only international financial institution in the world with the exclusive mandate to promote smallholder agriculture.

Since its establishment in 1977/78, a total of approximately USD 23 billion in soft loans, grants and advisory services have been provided to developing countries, mobilizing USD 31.9 billion in co-financing and own contributions from recipient countries.

The 2019-2021 programme portfolio (= IFAD 11) includes USD 3.2 billion, with more than half of the commitments going to Africa and 53% to fragile states.

For IFAD 12 (2022-2024), the program portfolio is expected to be USD 3.5-3.8 billion.

The primary objective of IFAD12 is to reduce poverty and hunger through a focus on investing in rural prosperity and transforming rural economies and food systems, in nutrition and people's resilience to, for example, the impacts of climate change.

This will specifically target the “last mile” to the marginalized rural population and in particular women and the young population to provide them with sustainable livelihood prospects.

During IFAD 11 (2019-21), 128.5 million people have received or used services provided by IFAD-funded projects (including 23.4 million who have accessed financial products such as microfinance loans) and 3.2 million people have been trained so far in improved and innovative farming methods and technologies; 16.7 million hectares of land have been managed in a climate-smart way and 59 million tons of CO2 have been avoided or sequestered; 530,000 rural enterprises have been given access to business development; women and young people are particularly targeted. The proportion of female users is 50%.

Priority themes: IFAD's overall focus areas clearly support our policy priorities: Climate, Nutrition, Rural Youth Employment, and Gender.

Germany as a donor: Germany is one of the largest donors to the fund. The German core contribution IFAD 12 (2022-24): about 89 million euros, plus climate funds (ASAP+), together about USD 105.49 million.

Additional high-volume promotional loan from KfW to IFAD.

In addition, individual project co-financing is expected for the IFAD 12 period.

as of June 2022

Top of page