Foreword from the Deputy Regional DirectorThe World Food Programme (WFP) Regional Bureau Nairobi
(RBN) for the East and Central Africa region oversees and advises on the life-saving operations and activities conducted by the eight Country Offices, with renewed presence in Eritrea, under its remit. At the regional-level, RBN coordinates with the humanitarian community, inclusive of host governments, to maximise an efficient response to Food Security and Nutrition challenges. WFP programmes include establishing resilience and capacity strengthening activities and initiatives, complementing the efforts of governments and stakeholders, ensuring the safety, dignity, and integrity of vulnerable people.
In 2019, the total number of people in the East and Central Africa region categorised as food insecure (IPC Phase 3 and above) was 18.7 million, a deterioration when compared to the 16.9 million in October 20181. Contributory factors include ongoing and protracted conflicts, as well as disastrous climate change and environmental events and increasing insecurities among vulnerable populations, including women and children, the elderly, and people living with disabilities.
Above average seasonal rains, occurring during the latter half of the year, resulted in widespread flooding and related environmental damage throughout the region. The lives and livelihoods of more than 2.8 million people were affected2 by devastated agricultural lands and destroyed infrastructure such as bridges and roads. Towards the end of 2019, the Horn of Africa, as well as Kenya and Ethiopia, were affected by widespread Desert Locust infestations, decimating fertile agricultural lands and the livelihoods of smallholder farmers during the harvesting season.
In response to these events, RBN ramped up its assistance in order to reach as many people as possible, providing food and nutrition assistance to food-insecure communities; technical support to governments, including trainings and policy guidance; and provision of logistical services to the wider humanitarian community. These efforts, with thanks to generous donor contributions, saw the number of people reached through WFP’s adaptive programming increase, contributing to the food and livelihood security of approximately 23,950,000 people – 14 percent above the 2019 cumulative planning figure.
To capture the achievements made by the Country Offices in 2019, the RBN has launched the inaugural Regional Achievements Annual Country Report (ACR) e-book. The ACR fulfils a contractual agreement with donors and informs them how the resources donated to WFP have been used to achieve results during the reporting year. This e-book provides a regional perspective on how RBN has guided operations to achieve programme excellence, as a frontline UN agency, augmenting and adapting its approaches to ever-changing contexts.
Transitioning to the Country Strategic Plans, WFP has shifted to an integrated approach, linking humanitarian and development objectives into one holistic country portfolio, led by host countries selected Sustainable Development Goals.
The East and Central Africa region is a vast and diverse environment – each country offering a rich ecosystem and an invested populace. Partnering with UN agencies, non-government organisations, private sector actors, and other key stakeholders, WFP strengthened its foothold in the advancement to address food insecurity and food-related stressors that impact the lives and livelihoods of the 20,900,000 people targeted for assistance.
WFP’s mission in the East Africa region is to contribute to the holistic efforts made by the entire humanitarian community – alleviate food and food-related causal factors that hinder societal progress – and strengthen the resilience of those it seeks to assist.
The World Food Programme’s Regional Bureau Nairobi (RBN) oversees nine developing, low-, and middleincome countries in East and Central Africa region. Characterised by fractured governance consisting of challenging institutional frameworks, as well as agricultural systems highly vulnerable to climate change and variability, the region is a complex environment requiring a comprehensive approach to humanitarian assistance. Within this context, WFP works to support efforts towards addressing multi-faceted, lifesaving needs, amidst evolving hunger and nutrition challenges.
In 2019, the RBN fully rolled out its Country Strategic Plans throughout the region, significantly augmenting the means and methods of providing food and food-related assistance to those people most affected by instability and vulnerable to external shock factors. Aligned with nationally selected Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), WFP’s operations encapsulate key thematic areas, such as Emergency Preparedness and Response, Food Systems, and Social Protection. In this context, WFP continued to provide unparalleled support not only to people targeted for assistance, but also to Governments, Partners, and the humanitarian community at large.
The Annual Country Report, WFP’s corporate donor tool, provides a detailed briefing on countryspecific operations, highlighting key areas of programmatic achievements and challenges – effectively demonstrating WFP’s competitive advantage as a lead UN agency. At a regional level, in 2019, WFP maintained its support to Governments’ efforts towards achieving their SGDs, while contributing to strengthening livelihoods and working alongside other humanitarian actors. Through this, the inaugural annual regional overview report, RBN seeks to highlight achievements made and demonstrate its capacities utilising a regional lens.