Young girls carrying water containers.
Photo: ©Riccardo Mayer/

Joining forces to improve food and water security

Water and food security are closely linked. WFP and UNEP agree to work together to improve food, water and environmental security in vulnerable communities.

Biodiversity and ecosystem loss, the climate crisis, and environmental degradation are having devastating impacts on the food and water security of millions of people around the world. In May 2023, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) signed an agreement to address the problem. 
The agreement steps up collaboration on climate change adaptation, nature-friendly food systems, water resource management and ecosystems restoration.

“Food and water go hand in hand: we urgently need to restore our ecosystems and scale up climate adaptation programmes to ensure future generations are able to grow enough food,” says Cindy McCain, WFP’s Executive Director. “WFP’s global operations, combined with UNEP’s world-class expertise, will help governments, communities and families on the frontlines of the climate crisis to better protect themselves. Our partnership will reduce humanitarian needs and support long-term solutions to hunger.”

Water and food security are inextricably linked. Water quality and quantity – whether it’s too much or too little – affects food production, accessibility, availability and use. Climate extremes such as droughts and floods are becoming more intense and more frequent and accelerating environmental degradation, ecosystem loss and, ultimately, people’s ability to produce and access enough food.

“If we work together more closely, we can create meaningful impact. We can enhance climate mitigation and adaptation. We can support vulnerable populations to address nature-induced conflicts and natural disasters. We can maintain healthy, productive and resilient ecosystems. We can deliver on both our mandates and reduce the vicious cycle of humanitarian and environmental crises,” says Inger Andersen, UNEP’s Executive Director.

WFP and UNEP will work with local communities, local and national governments, regional bodies, UN partners and other stakeholders. Together, they will improve the food, water and environmental security of vulnerable communities by using data and scientific expertise to restore degraded ecosystems, scale actions to adapt to the climate crisis and support sustainable agricultural practices.


More information on the UNEP website

Read more on UNEP’s work on water

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