A Quick Guide to the Rome-based UN Agencies

A Quick Guide to the Rome-based UN AgenciesToday’s undergraduates are often dedicated to global causes that focus on equality, sustainability, and humanitarian service. Seeing themselves as global citizens, students feel empowered to get involved in both small and large-scale initiatives that strive for meaningful change both at home and abroad.

Rome’s UN agencies exemplify those values by dedicating enormous resources to fighting one of our world’s most pressing issues: hunger.

These three agencies are the World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

John Cabot University has a special relationship with the UN agencies in Rome. Not only have many undergraduates gone on to intern and work for the UN, but JCU collaborates with the FAO and is affiliated with the WFP through the Universities Fighting World Hunger initiative.

Students interested in world food policies and humanitarian initiatives can read on to find out more about these three Rome-based agencies, and the incredible work they do to battle hunger around the world.

World Food Programme

The UN reports that across the globe, there are at least 805 million people who go hungry every day.

Established in 1961, the World Food Programme is the largest humanitarian agency dedicated solely to fighting world hunger and malnutrition. They are the primary agency for food distribution in disaster areas (such as Haiti after the 2010 earthquake) and also work in severely malnourished areas of the world to combat child mortality, improve women’s maternal health, and fight diseases like HIV/AIDS.

John Cabot University is partnered with the WFP through Universities Fighting Hunger, an initiative that helps raise awareness and fundraise for action against famine. Several students attending university in Rome have even had the opportunity to internship at the WFP, joining a collection of 11,500 employees working together to end world hunger.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN is an agency dedicated to helping countries improve their agricultural, fishing, and forestry practices to become more productive and sustainable. The FAO works around the world to help farmers in both developing and developed countries gain access to the resources they need to establish sustainable agricultural businesses.

FAO works in partnership with governments and other collaborators including academic institutions such as John Cabot University that are committed to achieving food security. Students who study abroad in Rome and are interested in the topics of food security and production can learn more about these issues right here on campus at JCU. Courses offered at John Cabot such as “Food and Agriculture” and “Special Topics in Political Science: World Food Systems” are designed to give students insight into the kinds of issues faced by the Food and Agriculture Organization, as well as potential solutions.

International Fund for Agricultural Development

According to the World Bank, of the 1.4 billion poor people living in developing countries, 70% live in rural areas where farming is the only means of commerce. Farmers working in these areas are faced with numerous challenges, including harsh climates, global marketplace competition, and a lack of agricultural technology, all which prevent them from breaking free from poverty. IFAD works directly with these communities, helping to strengthen agricultural development by educating farmers about best practices – and helping to strategize solutions to pressing problems.

Thanks to JCU’s close proximity to IFAD, many classes have had the opportunity to visit its headquarters and participate in sessions discussing solutions for global food security. This March, students attended the conference “Empowering Rural Women to Achieve Food and Nutrition Security”, hosted by a panel of UN experts on food security and featuring remarks by Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the WFP.

Do you dream of working for the UN after you study abroad in Italy?

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