Fact Sheet on the United Nations Rome-based Agencies


The three UN Organizations in Rome at a glance.


Global Problems

  • Population development: By 2050 the world population will have risen to almost 10 billion people, which will require a 50% increase in food production.
  • Extreme poverty reduction (SDG 1): 736 million people currently live below the extreme poverty line (< USD 1.90 per day), 80% of them in rural areas.
  • Food insecurity (SDG 2): 821 million people are considered to be chronically hungry (increase of 37 million since 2014, i.e. back to 10 years ago). In order to achieve “zero hunger” by 2030, investments of USD 180 bn p.a. are needed in rural areas, 2/3 of which in agriculture alone. 
  • Climate resilience: USD 463 bn is invested annually in climate activities, of which only USD 22 bn is invested in sectoral climate adaptation.
  • Sociological indicators: Most of the extreme poor living in rural regions earn their income from agricultural activities. Agriculture is the world's largest source of income and currently accounts for 40% of the world's population. 47% of the labour force is provided by women. 90% of the farms are family farms. 500 million of these smallholder farms produce about 80% of the world's food. 60% of young Africans under the age of 25 are unemployed. By 2050 there will be more young people in Sub Sahara Africa than in any other region of the world and 70% of the global increase in labour will be in Africa by then.

L3 – Emergencies

(Countries classified as “L3” or “Level 3” are the most serious emergencies in the classification system of the World Food Programme for Global Crises.)

  • Yemen: Largest global humanitarian crisis, 20 million people are affected by food insecurity, of which about 10 million are severely endangered. WFP is currently expanding its capacity to supply 12 million people.
  • Syria and neighbouring countries: Within Syria, some 6.7 million people are affected by food insecurity. WFP has supported between 3 and 3.6 million people in recent months. In the neighbouring countries of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, WFP has supported some 3 million people.
  • South Sudan: Almost 7 million people (60% of the population) do not have a secure food supply. WFP has provided food for 2-3 million people each in recent months.
  • Nigeria: In the north-east of the country, 2.7 million people have no safe access to food, and around 440,000 children under the age of 5 are severely malnourished. WFP has supported 700,000 - 1 million people in each of the past months.
  • DR Congo: Around 13 million people are affected by food insecurity, around 2.2 million children under the age of 5 are severely malnourished. WFP supports around 1 million people.


Challenge: The World Food Programme is the largest humanitarian player in the UN system for food assistance. WFP supports 91.4 million people in 83 countries with 15 billion food rations a year.

In addition to humanitarian food aid, WFP also focuses on expanding local resilience in order to prevent the effects of natural disasters and shocks on the population. In addition to food aid, WFP is increasingly distributing vouchers and cash transfers to the local population.

In 2017, 19.2 million people were able to purchase essential goods on the domestic market and strengthen the local economy with a total of USD 1.75 billion (35% of WFP's food aid).

The primary goal is to ensure the food supply for people in need and at the same time to combat malnutrition preventively. 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 5000 trucks, 92 aircrafts and 20 cargo ships daily, supports the fulfilment of the missions.

Germany as donor: In 2018 alone, the German government contributed USD 854.9 million to WFP's mandate fulfilment, making Germany the organization’s second largest bilateral donor. The European Commission was also strongly committed with contributions amounting to USD 1.1 billion (with a German share of just under 30%).


Challenge: The Food and Agriculture Organization is the largest specialized agency of the United Nations. Its goals are to combat hunger and poverty worldwide, strengthen agricultural production and rural development, and promote sustainable resource management. The FAO has 194 member states. Its regular budget is approximately USD 500 million/year. 

Germany as donor: Germany is the FAO's fourth-largest contributor with a volume of around USD 36 million/year. Germany also makes voluntary funds available to the FAO: Since 2002, Germany has paid around 128 million euros for a total of 106 FAO projects via a bilateral trust fund.

The aim of the voluntary projects is to support states in securing a qualitatively and quantitatively balanced diet for each individual.

The main topics are: The right to food and other strategies for sustainable food security, The Voluntary Guidelines for the Responsible Management of Land and Land Use Rights, Fishing Grounds and Forests, Support for Sustainable Production and Site-Appropriate Production Methods, The Importance of Bioenergy for Food Security, Combating Malnutrition and Malnutrition.


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

Since its foundation in 1977, a total of USD 19.7 billion in low-interest loans, grants and advisory services have been granted to EL, mobilising USD 27.1 billion in the form of co-financing and own contributions from the recipient countries.

The programme portfolio 2019-2021 (= IFAD 11) comprises USD 3.5 billion. More than half of the commitments go to Africa and 35% to fragile states.

The aim is to create sustainable prospects for life and a secure diet for the rural population, especially the young, through innovation, infrastructure, networking and empowerment.

In 2017, 2.5 million people were trained in cultivation methods; 3 million hectares of arable land were better managed; 14,000 kilometres of roads were built or repaired; 91,000 micro-enterprises were given access to economic development; women and young people are particularly in focus. The proportion of female users is 50%.

Germany as a donor country: Germany is one of the major donors to the Fund.

DEU core contribution: EUR 63.206 million, additional project financing e.g. in the field of climate (EUR 20 million).

IFAD is focusing on issues that clearly support our political priorities: Climate, nutrition, youth employment in rural areas and gender.

As of April 2019

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