Hand in Hand Initiative: An update for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
Hard-won progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS is being eroded slowly but significantly.
Nearly 690 million people were estimated to be chronically undernourished in 2019, up by nearly 60 million in five years. While the prevalence of undernourishment was at 8.9 percent globally in 2017-2019, it reached 23 percent in LDCs, 20 percent in LLDCs and 16 percent in SIDS.
The world, and LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS, are off track to reach SDG2 by 2030. And millions more are in danger of being pulled back into extreme poverty and hunger: the economic recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to add between 83 and 132 million people to the total number of undernourished in the world.
With this in mind, FAO launched the Hand-in-Hand (HIH) Initiative in 2019 as a key accelerator of progress to achieve the SDGs. Hand-in-Hand is an evidence-based, country-led, country owned programme to eradicate poverty (SDG1) and end hunger and all forms of malnutrition (SDG2).
The programme uses integrated geospatial, bio-physical and socio-economic data and analysis, and an agri-food systems lens to identify subnational territories where innovative solutions and investments in agri-food systems and rural development can have transformative impacts within a medium-term time frame.
The programme’s signature match-making approach to partnerships is designed to fill gaps in information, technology, capacity, coordination, market access, and technical and financial resources in countries where extreme poverty and hunger are most prevalent.
This briefing will update on progress and implementation of the Hand in Hand Initiative with a focus on the world's most vulnerable states. It is organized by FAO and the UN Office for the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), in collaboration with the Chairs of the LDC Group, LLDC Group and of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).