Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)

Membership Tier: Steering Committee 

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) works to ensure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active and healthy lives. FAO strives to eradicate hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition, as well as to eliminate poverty. FAO seeks to do this by driving economic and social progress forward for all while sustainably managing and utilizing natural resources, including land, water, air, climate and genetic resources for the benefit of present and future generations.

From 2007-2009, FAO was a member of the Inter Agency Standing Committee Task Force on Safe Access to Firewood and Alternative Energy in Humanitarian Settings (SAFE) task force. Drawing on its mandate, FAO took primary responsibility for the sectors of environment, natural resource management, livelihoods, development, nutrition, and food security together with other key agencies. FAO is currently a key member of the Safe Access to Fuel and Energy (SAFE) Humanitarian Working Group.

FAO's SAFE-related work contributes to food security and environmental sustainability by addressing the three inter-linked pillars of fuel supply, fuel consumption, and livelihoods. FAO is planning and implementing SAFE activities in various countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, including the promotion of renewable energy technologies, establishment of forest plantations and agro-forestry for fuel, food, and income as well as local production and distribution of fuel-efficient cookstoves.

Why FAO Joined the SAFE Humanitarian Working Group

In response to growing needs, FAO is increasing its activities to ensure a sustainable supply of fuel and energy efficient cooking and heating technologies for crisis-affected populations. As part of this work, FAO is engaging in strategic partnerships with UN agencies and NGOs, including WFP and UNHCR, through the SAFE Working Group.  

FAO has carried out fuel needs assessments in Myanmar (Rakhine State), South Sudan, and Ethiopia. In South Sudan, FAO has procured and is distributing 40,000 fuel-efficient stoves for both Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and host communities in order to reduce the environmental impact of the large-scale displacement and to reduce the significant exposure of women to protection risks, including harassment, assault and rape. In Ethiopia, FAO has worked directly with UNHCR to assess the status of vegetation and biomass productivity around refugee camps as well as the demand for fuel from refugees. At the global level, FAO is developing tools for the purpose of assessing fuel availability and demand in emergencies, which can support decision-making processes at national level. The full portfolio of ongoing and planned fuel-related activities contribute to FAO’s Resilience Agenda and include both immediate response and long-term Disaster Risk Reduction approaches. 


Florent Eveillé |


Illaria Sisto |