A new United Nations global action programme launched in July 2017 seeks to address pressing challenges related to food security, nutrition and the impacts of climate change facing the world's Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
The initiative was developed jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS).
Because of their small size and isolation, SIDS are particularly threatened by natural disasters and the impacts of climate change. Many have limited arable agricultural land and are dependent on small-scale agriculture, ocean resources and high-priced imports.
The Global Action Programme aims to achieve three objectives: create enabling environments for food security and nutrition, promote sustainable, resilient nutrition-sensitive food systems and empower people and communities for improved food security and nutrition.
The Global Action Programme stems from the SIDS Accelerated Modalities Of Action (S.A.M.O.A.) Pathway - the outcome of the Third International Conference on SIDS held in Apia, Samoa in 2014, where FAO was invited to develop a global framework for action.
FAO has scaled up its work with the SIDS in recent years, including in areas aimed at improving the management and use of natural resources, promoting integrated rural development, and building resilience to extreme weather events.
During the Ocean Conference in New York in June 2017, FAO presented a commitment to increase economic benefits to SIDS countries through the Blue Growth Initiative. In particular, this will be done through three specific regional SIDS projects, with funding of some USD 16 million from FAO's budget.