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Protracted crises, whether human-induced or the result of repeated natural disasters, are often characterized by poor governance, weak institutional capacity and high levels of violence. These conditions can exacerbate food insecurity and hamper efforts to respond appropriately in a technical or non-political way. Often, the state has limited capacity to respond to and mitigate threats to populations, provide adequate levels of protection, or even to absorb aid and direct it in ways that address the underlying causes of the crisis.
This brief provides a summary of the concept of resilience as it applies to protracted crises. The increasing focus on resilience is driven by the desire to avoid repeated impoverishment and suffering caused by recurrent shocks. Definitions of resilience vary but have the common elements of capacity to bounce back after a shock and the capacity to adapt to change.
This brief provides an overview of lessons learned about food security in protracted crises, drawing on both interdisciplinary academic research and reflections “from the field”. These insights provide a deeper understanding of threats to food security and actions that can be taken to help individuals, groups (including households and communities) and systems (social, environmental, economic and political) manage and resolve protracted crises.
The purpose of this brief is to set the scene for the High Level Expert Forum on food insecurity in protracted crises. It presents an overview of the main defining characteristics of countries in protracted crises and their consequences particularly regarding food insecurity.
20 June 2012 – United Nations agencies today stressed the need to tackle child hunger and undernutrition in the pursuit of sustainable development, highlighting a joint initiative that offers practical and effective approaches to combat this problem in the most affected countries.
Under the REACH initiative, the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have committed to a renewed effort against child hunger and undernutrition.
Improving Agricultural Growth Critical to Global Food Security
A New International Organization Report to the G20 Highlights Need for Improving Agricultural Productivity
Jun 12, 2012
15 March 2012 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for unleashing the potential of small farmers and food producers worldwide, the majority of whom are women, to ensure food security is guaranteed for all.
“Every household needs to be able to afford safe, nutritious foods,” Mr. Ban said in a message to a high-level roundtable on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture, which was delivered on his behalf by Janos Pasztor, Executive Secretary of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability.
Note from the UN System High Level Task Force on Global Food Security 14th March 2012
1) Ending hunger and malnutrition is an essential part of sustainable development. It is a goal that can be achieved. To do so, policies and investments for food and nutrition security should have the following characteristics:
a. Encouraging the production of more food while - at the same time - protecting natural resources and supporting inclusive rural development;
b. Reducing waste and losses along the food value chain from producer to consumer;
The United Nations System High Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis (HLTF) was established in April 2008. It developed the first Comprehensive Framework for Action (CFA) in July 2008 when the world was being rocked by spiralling food prices that led to increased hunger, social tension and distress for millions of poor households.
The spike in food prices of last year (2008) underscored what experts have been telling us for many years: the world's food systems are in crisis.
The UN system has rapidly taken note of the seriousness of the challenges to world food security by the recent dramatic escalation of the food price crisis worldwide and recognized the need for Comprehensive Framework for Action (CFA) to address the crisis and its root causes.
The UN System has mobilized to provide a common response to the crisis that takes into account the comparative advantages of all stakeholders.
1. The dramatic rise over the past twelve months in global food prices poses a threat to global food and nutrition security and creates a host of humanitarian, human rights, socio-economic, environmental, developmental, political and security-related challenges. This global food crisis endangers millions of the world's most vulnerable, and threatens to reverse critical gains made toward reducing poverty and hunger as outlined in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It requires an urgent comprehensive, coherent, and coordinated response.
When the Chief Executives Board of the United Nations (UN) system met in Bern on April 28-29 2008 to look at how the system could best contribute to combating the global food crisis, they decided to establish a High Level Task Force, chaired by the UN Secretary General, with the Director General of the FAO as the Vice Chair. The Task Force is composed of the heads of the relevant UN specialised agencies, funds and programmes, of the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs), and of relevant parts of the UN Secretariat. The aim was to promote a unified response to this huge challenge.
The Comprehensive Framework for Action (CFA) has been prepared by the High-Level Task Force established and chaired by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Task Force is composed of the heads of the UN specialized agencies, funds, and programmes; the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO); and relevant parts of the UN Secretariat.