The Hand‐in‐Hand Initiative, launched in October 2019, is an evidence-based, country-led and country-owned initiative of the FAO to accelerate agricultural transformation and sustainable rural development to eradicate poverty (SDG1) and end hunger and all forms of malnutrition (SDG 2).
The initiative adopts a robust match-making approach that proactively brings together beneficiary countries with donors, private sector organizations, international financial institutions, research institutions, and civil society organizations to mobilize means of implementation that support accelerated action
Hand-in-Hand prioritizes countries and territories within countries where poverty and hunger are most concentrated or where national capacities are most limited owing to history, conflict or natural disasters. It also introduces a framework for monitoring and impact analysis.
The accelerated implementation of the Initiative has coincided with the onset of COVID-19 and the urgent need to cope with the combined impacts on agri-food systems of the pandemic, necessary suppression measures, and a major global economic recession.
In most cases, the HIHI approach to analysis and partnership-building has proven to be a useful model for coordinating integrated rapid response to COVID-19 impacts on food systems, particularly at the local or territorial level. It is also proving useful for enabling evidence-based anticipatory approaches to preventing broader food systems breakdown and for accelerating investment to address emerging threats to food system functioning in close collaboration with the Global Network Against Food Crises and the Global Humanitarian Response Plan.