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Report of the Workshops to present the initial research findings from a nation-wide survey and analysis on social protection and poverty dimensions in support of rural development and poverty reduction in Myanmar, Nay Pyi Taw and Yangoon, Myanmar, 29–30 September 2015













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    Resilient Livelihoods for Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security in Areas Affected by the Syria Crisis 2014
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    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is closely monitoring the impact of the Syria crisis on food security, nutrition, agriculture and livelihoods in Syria and neighbouring Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. Assessments carried out across the affected subregion indicate that threats to food security and livelihoods are severe and growing steadily. In addition to rendering over half of Syrians poor and nearly a third food insecure, the crisis is eroding the ver y foundations of food and livelihood security in what was once a middle-income country, with a relatively high employment rate (92 percent) and growing agriculture sector. Syria’s food chain is disintegrating – from production to markets – and entire livelihood systems are collapsing. The conflict also is severely affecting economic, social and human development in neighbouring countries. With most of Syria’s 2.6 million refugees living outside of camps, host communities face intense competition for resources such as land, water and income opportunities, while costs for housing, food and other commodities soar. The humanitarian appeals for Syria and neighbouring countries are the largest in history: USD 4.4 billion in 2013 and USD 6.5 billion in 2014. As the crisis shows no sign of abating, a resilience-based approach is proving ever more crucial to meet immediate needs while helping affected populations – and the systems which support them – better absorb, adapt and recover from curr ent and future shocks emanating from the crisis. Such an approach, combining emergency and development efforts, is indispensable in the context of food and livelihood security. Behind each family pushed into poverty and hunger, systems are collapsing which need to be protected, restored and strengthened. A holistic approach is needed not only to deliver crisisaffected populations from aid dependency, but also to prevent hunger and poverty from increasing and becoming endemic. FAO’s “Resilient Livelihoods for Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security in Areas Affected by the Syria Crisis” is a five-year Subregional Strategy and Action Plan, budgeted at USD 280 million – just over a tenth of the value of agricultural losses suffered in Syria by 2012. The Strategy is a dynamic document developed over the course of agricultural programming missions to the subregion in late 2013 and early 2014, which build on rapid agricultural livelihood and food security impact assessments and initia l response plans prepared during the first quarter of 2013. With the aim to protect, restore and strengthen livelihoods and the agro-ecosystems on which livelihoods depend, the Strategy tailors short-, medium- and longer-term actions to address specific needs of the main groups affected by the crisis, including Syrian internally displaced persons (IDPs) and affected populations, refugees, returnees, host communities and national and local authorities. Activities focus on seven priority areas, which can be broadly categorized as: (i) control of transboundary animal diseases (TADs); (ii) control of plant pests and diseases; (iii) food security and natural resource information systems, disaster risk management and policy development; (iv) rural and peri-urban income generation and employment; (v) agricultural production; (vi) natural resource management; and (vii) food safety and nutrition. The Strategy aligns with national government priorities and existing regional frameworks for add ressing the Syria crisis and calls for close partnership with affected communities, national institutions, United Nations (UN) agencies, non-state actors and private-sector organizations. Agriculture cannot be an afterthought. Affected populations in the subregion need effective responses to the challenges threatening their food security and livelihoods. A resilience-based approach delivers this, while better preserving the integrity of lives, livelihoods, natural resources and critical develop ment gains achieved over the past decades.
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    The role of law in the reduction of rural poverty
    Towards leveraging legal frameworks
    2020
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    Considering the importance of legal frameworks in laying down governance and accountability frameworks, clarifying the responsibilities of relevant public and private entities and defining the long term and budgetary commitment of states, the capacity of countries to adopt and enforce laws in pertinent areas is crucial to reducing rural poverty. Countries have signed up to international and regional instruments that are of relevance to rural poverty and have adopted policies and legislation in these areas. However, a number of normative, institutional and operational challenges exist in different countries. These include regulatory gaps in some areas such as social security for agricultural workers; the existence of laws that sustain discriminatory practices, for example, in relation to inheritance of property; and inconsistencies in norms and institutional mandates in the area of natural resource governance. Even with relatively good laws, their practical implementation may be wanting due to limitations of capacity to implement them. These problems would require a range of measures on the part of state and non‐state actors, including the adoption or revision of laws as well as awareness‐raising and legal empowerment. This legal paper explores the significance of legislative frameworks to poverty reduction efforts, with a particular focus on human rights. It highlights sectoral areas for legislative intervention and identifies normative, procedural and institutional challenges that states encounter while implementing poverty reduction programmes. It further refers to examples from state practice and provides recommendations on how relevant actors can make use of legislation to address rural poverty.
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    Local economy-wide impact evaluation of Lesotho’s Child Grants Programme and Sustainable Poverty Reduction through Income, Nutrition and Access to Government Services Project 2021
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    This report presents findings from a study of the local-economy impacts of one of Lesotho’s largest social programmes, the Child Grants Programme (CGP), and a rural development intervention, the Sustainable Poverty Reduction through Income, Nutrition and Access to Government Services (SPRINGS) programme. The CGP provides cash transfers to eligible poor households, while SPRINGS was a multi-faceted productive intervention targeting areas reached by the CGP, that provided support in various forms. The study is part of a larger project - a partnership between FAO, IFAD and the Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES) and its Centro de Estudios en Desarrollo Económico (CEDE) - that seeks to identify factors that lead to better articulation between social protection interventions and rural productive inclusion strategies.

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