As part of its COVID response, FAO pledges to support its member organizations in mitigating the pandemic’s impact on food security, nutrition and livelihoods of populations, especially women, schoolchildren and smallholder farmers. FAO will provide response options and best practices for national governments to mitigate risk to food systems disruptions.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Rome, Italy
International or regional organization
Established : 1945
Education and COVID-19 Response

Support the equitable continuation of learning
During the COVID-19 pandemic
Ensure a full and fair return to education
Following the pandemic
Strengthen learning systems
For the future
Strengthen gender equality in and through education

As United Nations lead agency for agriculture and rural development, FAO has a strong comparative advantage in addressing gender inequalities in agriculture and rural areas. For decades, FAO has championed the contribution of women to food production and food security, and spearheaded efforts to remove the barriers that limit their opportunities and full enjoyment of their rights. Within this broader context, FAO is committed to promoting rural women’s and girl’s equitable access to education and training opportunities, especially in areas related to agricultural production, labour-saving agricultural technologies, processing/marketing of agri-food products, rural entrepreneurship, market-related skills, food security, good nutrition, and reduction of food loss and waste. For instance, FAO’s Farmer Field Schools (FFS) and FAO Dimitra Clubs exemplify two highly effective methodologies to enhance the technical and functional capacities of rural residents and simultaneously contribute to inclusive development of rural communities, rural women’s socio-economic empowerment, gender equality in agricultural settings.

Regional Focus



FAO recognizes that education is key to addressing the intergenerational poverty and exclusion, and creating a solid foundation for advancing food security, nutrition and development critical to accelerate progress towards SDG 1 and 2.

The closure of schools around the globe in response to the current pandemic has had immense impact on children’s access to nutritious school meals. In countries with homegrown school feeding programmes, the closure of schools has had a toll on the livelihoods of smallholder men and women farmers and suppliers, especially among the extreme rural poor.

As part of its COVID-19 response, FAO is engaged in supporting member countries in preparedness to and mitigation of the pandemic’s impacts on the food security, nutrition and livelihoods of their populations, especially women and the most vulnerable (including schoolchildren and smallholder farmers). FAO, together with partners, has developed preliminary guidance on how to support, transform or adapt school feeding to help safeguard schoolchildren’s food security and nutrition during the COVID-19 pandemic. FAO is compiling and disseminating response options and best practices for national governments and businesses to mitigate the risk to disruptions in their food systems.

Action areas

Learner Wellbeing

Learning opportunities
Food and nutrition

Digital Learning Content

Develop or provide free and contextually appropriate learning content
Provision of books and printed learning materials

Capacity Development

Capacity development to strengthen system resilience and response to future shocks

Primary Contact

Mr. Maximo Torero Cullen

Chief Economist

Senior Contact

Mr. Maximo Torero Cullen

Chief Economist