Multilateral activities

Activities under multilateral relations covers the three United Nations agencies based in Rome. These are the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for agricultural development (IFAD) and the World Food programme (WFP).

(Country Representative Mr. Pierre Gence)

“It is well known that poverty is at the root of hunger and undernourishment. However, what often escapes our attention is that hunger and malnutrition are also major causes of poverty. Hunger compromises productivity and often the only asset that the extremely poor posses: their labour. Undernourishment, through productivity losses and nutrition-related health problems, is an economic handicap for individuals, but also for communities, and even for entire nations, when the prevalence of hunger is widespread. This predominantly rural character of hunger and poverty in Africa leads me to a first important conclusion: In Africa, the battle against poverty and hunger over the next decades, will be won or lost in rural areas. Therefore, improvement of rural livelihoods and the development of the agricultural and rural sectors must be at the centre of national and international programmes in Africa.”
Statement by the Director-General of FAO at the FAO Panel on Agriculture and Sustainable Food Security in Africa, New York, USA, 27 April 2001  

The Food and Agriculture Organization was founded in 1945 with a mandate to raise nutritional levels and living standards, to improve agricultural productivity and to better the conditions of rural people. FAO is the lead agency for technical expertise in food security, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development, as well as in the sustainable management of natural resources essential over the long term.

FAO has 5 Regional Offices, 5 Sub-regional Offices and Permanent FAO Representatives in more than 80 countries. The Regional Office for Africa is based in Accra, Ghana and the Sub-regional Office for East and Southern Africa is based in Harare.

Currently Tanzania is a member of FAO Council (Nov. 2001-Nov. 2004), Finance Committee (Nov. 2001-Nov. 2003), Committee on World Food Security, Committee on Agriculture, Committee on Fisheries, Committee on Forestry.

Tanzania has benefited substantially from the organization in terms of technical advises and assistance. Tanzania has 134 projects and programmes executed by FAO since its inception, five (5) of which are ongoing. Its first project came in 1977. Areas of interventions have mainly been on technical and emergency assistance carried out by offering direct development assistance and providing policy and planning advice to the government.

The ongoing projects include the following:

  • Phase one of the Special Programme for Food Security in Zanzibar
  • Integrated Production and Pest Management for Sustainable Agriculture in Zanzibar
  • Emergency Surveillance of Rinderpest and other Transboundary Animal Diseases in Northern Tanzania
  • Capacity Building in Planning and Co-Management of the Tanzania Prawn Fishery
  • Near Infrared Spectrophotometry for Livestock Early Warning System

Projects on the pipeline for consideration by FAO include:

  • Migratory Pest Management
  • Strengthening the Food Control System
  • ECF and Tick-Borne Disease Control
  • Training for Small-Scale Dairy Milk Sector
  • Strengthening Animal Feed Regulatory Services
  • Taeniosis/cysticercosis control
  • Rodent Control


“There are 1.2 billion people in the world who are hungry and poor, surviving on less than one dollar per day. Almost a billion - one sixth of the world's population - live and work in rural areas. They have little land, minimal access to education, poor or non-existent health care. In fact they lack all the basic necessities that the rest of us take for granted.


IFAD Photo by Robert Grossman
the United Republic of Tanzania-Mara Region Farmers' Initiative Project

This savings and credit group in the village of Nyamisisye, Musoma District is involved in brickmaking, clothmaking, pottery and weaving. The name of the group is Nguvukazi, which means 'using human power' in Swahili.

When disaster strikes, global news media often give full coverage to the emergency situation and to the relief efforts of the international community - governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the general public. In contrast, little space is devoted to the relief efforts of the rural poor, day after day, or the initiatives in the developing world to help them rise out of poverty.”
Tales of the 21st Century: United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda (Lennart Bage, President of IFAD)

“The majority of the world's poor are rural, and will remain so for several decades. Poverty reduction programmes must therefore be refocused on rural people if they are to suceed. Poverty is not gender-neutral: women enjoy less access to, and control over, land, credit, technology, education, health care and skilled work.”
Rural Oovert Report 2001: the challenge of Ending Rural Poverty 

The International Fund for Agricultural Development was established in 1977 to assist developing countries to combat rural poverty by mobilizing and providing financial resources on concessional terms for agricultural development projects. Its mandate is unique among international financial institutions: to fund rural development projects that will improve the nutritional level and living conditions in developing countries.

Tanzania has ten projects and programmes financed by IFAD since its establishment, five of which are ongoing. Many of these projects and programmes were/are co-financed by other donors namely the African Development Bank, Belgium Survival Fund, Swiss and Danish grants. The ongoing projects are listed below:

Mara Region Farmers' Initiative Project: It has the objectives to increase household food security in the shore areas of Lake Victoria and to reduce poverty in environmentally fragile areas and the highlands. Activities that are being pursued include development of crops, water resources and smallholder livestock; rehabilitation of roads to give access to markets; and building the skills of local population.

Agricultural and Environmental management project: It seeks to reverse the decline in agricultural productivity by rehabilitating the region's agriculture and environment. The goal is to enable very poor small farmers to increase their production of staple and cash crops. The project will also seek to increase domestic water supplies, improve the network of rural roads, and strengthen the capacity of district institutions to respond to the needs and initiatives of rural communities.

Participatory Irrigation Development Programme: Its objective is to improve the incomes and household food security of smallholders. This is being done by working with the government, farmers and the private sector to establish small-scale irrigation schemes in marginal areas. The project addresses the specific needs of women and women-headed households, given their central role in agricultural production.

Rural Financial Services Programme: It has the objective to help the poor strengthen their social bargaining power and gain access to financial services.It therefore seeks to remove the legal and social barriers that prevent the active participation of the poor in microfinance institutions (MFI).Through the project, farmers' business and technical skills are being upgraded through training, in order to enanble them manage their operations more sucessfully.


IFAD Photo by Robert Grossman
the United Republic of Tanzania-Mara Region Farmers' Initiative Project

Workers make cement rings that are used to construct wells in Mugumu town, Serengeti District.

Agricultural Marketing Systems Development Programme: It has the objective of bringing a comprehensive change in the agricultural marketing sub-sector to make it efficient, effective and responsive. It will strengthen producer organizations to obtain a better bargaining power and and leverage on policy formulation, identification of marketing opportunities, and price negotiations for both agricultural inputs and produce. The programme will assist the government in developing capacities in rationalising the existing policies in order to provide incentives to producers, small traders and processors.

Closed projects include, Mwanza/Shinyanga Rural Development Project, Southern Highlands Smallholder Smallholder Food Crop Project, Smallholder Development Project for Marginal Areas, Southern Highlands Extension and Rural Financial Services, and Smallholder Support Project in Zanzibar.

(Tanzania Representative: Ms Nicole Menage)

“The poor will always be with us. They are us. Our responsibility is to our brothers and sisters, beyond talking about them, but doing something for them. For as long as one is poor, we are all poor”.
Statement by the Executive Director of WFP at an Annual Conference held by the National Italian Catholic Movement "Communion and Liberation" Roundtable Topic: "The Poor Will Always be With Us."  Rimini, Italy, August 2000 

“Hunger is the first obstacle to ending poverty. Hungry is poverty. A person who is always hungry is always poor. We can talk about the eradication of poverty all we want. We can never achieve it, if we don't first end hunger. The hungry live in rural areas and urban slums, in refugee camps and on farming homesteads. Wherever they are, hungry families live in the grey area between crisis and normality. Their poverty keeps them vulnerable to hunger. And hunger keeps them poor. Investments in infrastructure need to place more emphasis on ensuring that the assets truly are for the poor e.g. community-based ponds, woodlots and roads etc. Yet physical infrastructure alone cannot lead to less poverty or better food security. A bridge may make the local market half an hour away rather than half a day. But when you have no education, poor health, and no energy, all the opportunities the market holds are beyond your reach.”
Statement by the Executive Director of WFP, Presentation to the ECOSOC Panel Discussion on "Food security, basic infrastructure and natural resources as imperative dimensions of poverty eradication strategies."  April 1999 UNHQ-New York 

The World Food Programme, is the food aid agency of the United Nations system, and was created in 1963. It provides food aid to save lives in emergency situations, to improve the nutrition and quality of life of the most vulnerable people at critical times in their lives, to help build infrastructural assets and to promote the self-reliance of poor people and communities.

The WFP Tanzania Country Programme is the major activity WFP is working on for the Tanzanians. Before this, the main thrust was to assist refugees from neighbouring countries, whereby at any point in time Tanzania was/is hosting 500,000 refugees. The Programme concentrates on disaster mitigation, providing free food that enable people to focus on building grain stores and roads, infrastructures that help people cope in time of difficulties.

Other activities covered under the Country Programme include water supply system and dry land farming. Development activities also include assisting the primary education sector through school feeding.

Food-for-Work: Where people are chronically hungry, WFP promotes self-reliance through food-for-work projects. The programme is also used

as a tool of implementing development projects. Through this programme, WFP pay workers with food to build vital new infrastructure that increases the food security of households or communities. Food-for Work projects frequently involve agricultural practices such as irrigation, tree planting, soil and water conservation, road and bridges. WFP's F-F-W programme is complementing the implementation of Participatory Irrigation Development Programme in the dry lands of the central Tanzania. With WFP's support, seven irrigation schemes in the programme have been rehabilitated.

School Feeding: Among developmental programmes, which WFP has embarked on, school feeding is one of them. Working with national governments, local authorities, donors, and international and local aid groups, WFP uses food to attract children to school and keep them there. Meals provided at school to children prevents malnutrition that if unchecked, it affects their mental and physical growth, which in turn puts an added burden to poor families and the nation at large. School feeding programmes that provide nutritious meals are a simple but concrete way to improve lives and nations.

The Programme addresses the issue of HIV/AIDS as an issue of food security and nutrition. WFP in collaboration with three other UN agencies has identified a strategic need for food aid among poor families whose major bread-winner is suffering from HIV/AIDS. It is recognised that, HIV/AIDS is perhaps the single threat to the development of Sub-Saharan Africa. Although Africa accounts for only one tenth of the world's population but has nine out ten new cases of HIV infection. Eighty-three percent of all AIDS deaths are in Africa. It is therefore important to identify innovative, gender sensitive and participatory approaches to fight HIV/AIDS in rural areas in order to mitigate impact of HIV/AIDS on agriculture, food security and rural poverty.

  • Statement by the Director-General of FAO at the FAO Panel on Agriculture and Sustainable Food Security in Africa, New York, USA, 27 April 2001
  • Tales of the 21 st Century: United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda (Lennart Bage, President of IFAD) page 2
  • Rural Oovert Report 2001: the challenge of Ending Rural Poverty, page 15
  • Statement by the Executive Director of WFP at an Annual Conference held by the National Italian Catholic Movement “Communion and Liberation” Roundtable Topic: “The Poor Will Always be With Us.” Rimini, Italy, August 2000
  • Statement by the Executive Director of WFP, Presentation to the ECOSOC Panel Discussion on “Food security, basic infrastructure and natural resources as imperative dimensions of poverty eradication strategies.” April 1999 UNHQ-New York

A glimpse look at Tanzania National Parks

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