Rural Social Protection - Promoting resilient livelihoods and the economic potential of the rural poor and vulnerable

Three-quarters of the world’s poorest and most undernourished people live in rural areas. They are predominantly family farmers (including youth, fishers and foresters) with few to no assets, engaged in low-quality, low-paid labour, dependent on agriculture and natural resources for their livelihoods. They struggle to access social and financial services, infrastructure, markets or innovative technologies and practices, preventing advancement to more efficient, sustainable and productive livelihoods. They are particularly vulnerable to economic, climatic and conflict-related risks and shocks. Such shocks can have devastating impacts on income and livelihoods, and push people into negative coping strategies, such as the sale of productive assets, over-deforestation or cutting the quality of children’s diets, exacerbating the cycle of food insecurity and poverty. Women and girls face extra challenges due to gender-related inequalities. FAO is working to support governments and key stakeholders in expanding basic social-protection coverage to protect the world’s poorest and most marginalized. Access to social protection has not only been proven to keep people from hunger and extreme poverty, but can also enhance their livelihood options, most of which are agriculture-related.