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Food aid and livelihoods: Challenges and opportunities in complex emergencies

FAO International Workshop on “Food Security in Complex Emergencies: building policy frameworks to address longer-term programming challenges” Tivoli, 23-25 September 2003







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    Emergency in Ituri, DRC: Political complexity, land and other challenges in restoring food security
    FAO International Workshop on “Food Security in Complex Emergencies: building policy frameworks to address longer-term programming challenges” Tivoli, 23-25 September 2003
    2003
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    This paper explains the political and economic complexities of the ongoing Ituri crisis, focusing on the role of land. In Ituri, mineral-rich land is at the core of the crisis and therefore, at the core of the longer-term programming needed to restore food security. But food insecurity in eastern DRC has a history. The paper argues that the ambigous Bakajika land law, introduced in 1973 and responsible for the emergence of a vast class of landless people, lies at the root of large-scale poverty, insecurity and spiralling violence. Implementation of this law in Ituri, and subsequent contestations by food insecure farmers in 1999, caused the initial upheavel that led to full-scale war with the foreign participation of the armies of Uganda and Rwanda, and atrocities not seen before. The paper advocates an overhaul of the Bakajika law that will respect people’s right to ancestral land and thus enhance livelihood and food security. Appropriate land reform will also reduce the likelihood of a recurrence of Ituri’s complex emergency.
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    Plan of Action for North Sudan. Emergency response and rehabilitation for food and agriculture August 2010 – August 2012 2010
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    After decades of civil conflict and associated political instability, populations throughout North Sudan have seen their livelihoods and production capacity eroded and their ability to cope with human-induced and recurrent natural disasters (floods, droughts, outbreaks of livestock diseases) worn away. There have been considerable efforts to respond to the protracted crisis, with the international humanitarian response reaching USD 1.3 billion in 2009. Despite this, millions of people continue t o face severe and chronic food insecurity. With between 60 and 80 percent of the working-age population relying on agriculture to meet their food and income needs, the sector’s importance to economic recovery and the consolidation of peace in North Sudan cannot be underestimated. In this Plan of Action (PoA), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) outlines its emergency and rehabilitation programme for North Sudan in 2010–12. It does not include FAO’s long-term develop ment programme, but is designed to complement the Organization’s ongoing development activities, as well as the interventions of United Nations agencies, Government and other partners which aim to mitigate the effects of recurrent crises while addressing their root causes. The programme relies heavily on a disaster risk management approach to the complex situation in North Sudan. This approach focuses on emergency relief, such as replacing lost assets or restoring livelihoods, as well as on earl y efforts as part of risk reduction that protect and sustain livelihoods. Such interventions can often be more effective than those delayed until people are in crisis. Given the complex and protracted nature of the crisis in North Sudan, FAO’s relief and recovery programming is enhanced by interventions that not only restore, but also protect and promote livelihoods in food and agriculture. Thus, the overall purpose of the PoA for North Sudan is to improve preparedness and to make short-term res ponses in food and agriculture more effective. The proposed priorities in this PoA will help FAO, its counterparts and partners to meet shortterm needs in ways that strengthen the resilience of communities and lead to more effective and longer-term recovery. The approach is reflected in the six key areas of focus as proposed in this PoA, based on an analysis of the current situation, the main factors triggering food insecurity and assessments identifying and targeting vulnerable groups. These ar e: (i) dwindling agricultural production; (ii) reduced livestock production and productivity; (iii) the adverse effect of climate change and the conflicts created over the use of scarce natural resources and longer-term issues such as land access; (iv) economic factors that affect the livelihoods of the various groups, as well as the creation of alternative livelihood resources; (v) the need for institutional strengthening; and (vi) coordination of the international community and the assistance provided. The above priorities have been expanded into twelve sectoral programmes that detail activities to be implemented by FAO in North Sudan to achieve expected outcomes and address the specific needs identified in three regions: (i) Greater Darfur (comprising North, South and West Darfur); (ii) the Transitional Areas (Abyei, Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan); and (iii) Eastern Sudan (Gedaref, Kassala and Red Sea states). The total budget for the PoA 2010–2012 is USD 45 056 468. The PoA signa ls FAO’s adoption of a more programmatic approach in its emergency and rehabilitation activities in North Sudan. The document has used a programme cycle management approach to present the situation analysis, planned response and monitoring and evaluation framework. Through this PoA and other efforts, FAO is attempting to build greater programmatic coherence with internal and external partners, in line with national food security plans and related strategy and United Nations system programming fr amework. Fundamentally, this PoA is a dynamic programming tool that may need to be adjusted, according to contingency plans, when and as the food security situation evolves in North Sudan.
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    Complex emergencies, food Security and the quest for appropriate institutional responses: The centrality of an analytic capacity
    FAO International Workshop on “Food Security in Complex Emergencies: building policy frameworks to address longer-term programming challenges” Tivoli, 23-25 September 2003
    2003
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    With regard to the ‘complex emergencies’-‘food security’ nexus, institutional policies have often advanced generalized responses such as offering food aid to meet the challenges concerned. Such responses however may actually result from poor analysis or active interests to pursue particular solutions irrespective of the specific problem of situation. This paper will argue that with respect to ‘complex emergencies’ the kind of requirements they may pose to meet problems of food security, the scop e for developing general policy responses remains very limited. Cumbersome as it may appear, it rather appears advisable to start from an opposite premise, namely that each complex emergency requires its own analysis and response. In terms of preparatory action, this implies a need for less attention in searching for ready-made solutions, and more towards enhancement of institutional capacities to diagnose emergency situations when they arise and as they develop.

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