In late-2004 the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, requested assistance from FAO with the development of a so-called national fivims , particularly to assist the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in meeting its reporting requirements with regard to targets set under the World Food Summit and the Millennium Development Project. FAO responded positively to this request, as it is and has been involved with a number of information-related activities in the country in the past. More specifically, FAO has been supporting the Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (National VAC), has a history of support to the National Early Warning System (NEWS), and ongoing participation in Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions (CFSAMs).
FAO's Emergency Operations Service (TCEO) in Southern Africa is supporting the VAC process at the national and regional level. It has also had input into the development of a national fivims in South Africa. In light of the above, FAO-TCEO resources will be used for a consultancy to define and map out potential FIVIMS structure and linkages as provided by the Government of South Africa under OSRO/RAF/403/SAF.
The timing of this consultancy was opportune as it coincided with the formulation of the new Food Security Policy. This provided an opportunity for a broad exchange between the teams and made sure that the main findings and recommendations from the FIVIMS mission would be considered for incorporation into the relevant sections of the Policy document (i.e. Food Security Information System Activities). The consultant participated in the workshop of March 9th and 10th, to discuss the first draft of the new FS Policy to a large stakeholder meeting, will therefore also include findings of the FIVIMS mission.
 Written in italics to distinguish support to individual countries to strengthen ongoing national and sub-national food insecurity and vulnerability information activities from the Global FIVIMS initiative, driven by an Inter-Agency Working Group which is written in capital letters.
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