Small-scale producers remain underserved by global climate finance. Despite producing 50 per cent of the world’s calories, globally, only 1.7 per cent of climate finance is directed at small-scale producers.
Increasing climate change impacts, together with conflicts, are among the key, interrelated drivers of growing food insecurity, especially in Africa. Moderate or severe food insecurity affects one quarter of the world’s population and has been rising in recent years. Over half of the population in Africa, almost one third in Latin America and the Caribbean and more than one-fifth in Asia are food-insecure.
Food insecurity and poverty tend to be concentrated in the areas most vulnerable to climate change, such as sub-Saharan Africa, and particularly in the rural areas of low-income countries, where as many as 75 per cent of the world’s extremely poor people live.
The Rural Resilience Programme (2RP) is an innovative umbrella programme that will consolidate multiple sources of financing channeled to small-scale producers and their communities.
By bringing a number of global initiatives under a common coordinating framework, the 2RP multiplies the benefits of initiatives that work towards the common objectives of the three Rio Conventions: the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD).
The 2RP has three pillars:
- The enhanced Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP+)
- The Sustainability, Stability and Security (3S) Initiative in Africa
- The Green Climate Fund’s umbrella programme for the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (GCF-GGWI)
Through these pillars, the 2RP will equip small-scale producers and the landless poor and their communities with the resources they need to put in place their own locally adapted resilience strategies against climate variability, environmental pressures, food insecurity and hunger, as well as rural poverty, instability and irregular migration.
The 2RP will provide investments, primarily through grants, to activities that:
- address climate change and social drivers of food and nutrition insecurity
- restore and sustainably manage degraded lands
- stem the rise in youth unemployment that is causing young people to migrate from rural areas or join extremist organizations.
The Programme will shift the focus from unsustainable extractive livelihoods to regenerative ones. It will work with local communities to help them innovate and adopt sustainable agricultural approaches that are economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. Such approaches include agroecology, nature-based solutions, low-impact livestock and pasture management, artisanal fisheries, sustainable off-farm livelihoods, and green technologies. The 2RP will put in place incentives and opportunities for rural youth to drive innovation for scaling up sustainable practices along the value chain.
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In 2009, I travelled by road to Timbuktu, Mali on a short field trip. As we made our way down the dusty roads, I remember wondering what could possibly pull this arid, sparsely populated land into relative prosperity.