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Embedding vulnerability in livelihoods models: A work in progress

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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    Book (stand-alone)
    Twin peaks: the seasonality of acute malnutrition, conflict and environmental factors - Chad, South Sudan and the Sudan
    sep/19
    2019
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    To better understand the resilience and vulnerability of the populations in Chad, the Sudan and South Sudan, the Feinstein International Center, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University has drawn on available secondary data on nutrition, environmental factors (rainfall, temperature and vegetation), conflict and emergency events, together with primary qualitative findings from eastern Chad and western Sudan, prioritizing community perspectives. The report findings underscore the importance of environmental variability and the persistence of climate, conflict and other shocks in relation to livelihood resilience and transformation over time. The findings also challenge long-standing assumptions about the seasonality of malnutrition and present new findings on livelihoods in countries struggling with or seeking to recover from climate, conflict and other disasters. Many humanitarian programmes have been in continuous operation in eastern Chad, Darfur and Bahr el Ghazal for over two decades. From a community perspective, the past 50 years have been a series of multiple and overlapping hazardous events, many persisting for years, exacerbating their impact and eroding resilience. At the same time, the region is characterized by environmental variability, including rainfall variability (spatially as well as seasonally, and over years) and ecological diversity. Farming and pastoralist livelihood systems characteristic of the region have co-evolved in response to this environmental variability and have adapted to manage delayed rains and drier spells. However, the long history and protracted nature of many shocks, combined with wider trends, have contributed to pivotal changes and to transformations of these livelihoods, although the dryland farming and pastoralist systems remain central to local livelihoods and the economy. The role of seasonality is further reflected in the observed patterns of different types of conflict. Our data reveal that the region has continued to suffer from high rates of acute malnutrition over the past 25 years, with seasonal peaks regularly exceeding the emergency threshold of 15 percent. Furthermore, contrary to the assumption that in a unimodal rainfall system the peak of acute malnutrition occurs at the end of the lean season, when food insecurity is at its peak, our data show that there are two peaks of acute malnutrition. The first and larger peak occurs at the end of the dry season. It is followed by a slight improvement in acute malnutrition and then a secondary but smaller peak after the lean season. Drawing on the qualitative community perspectives, our analysis points to the seasonality of livelihood systems linked with environmental variability as the crucial determinants of the twin peaks, through its effects on food security, care and health. The analysis also provides insights into the seasonality of different types of conflict, part of which is also related to seasonality of livelihood activities. The findings from this study have direct implications for household recovery, resilience and nutrition, and raise specific considerations for data collection, future research, programming and policy.
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    Document
    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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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Highlights on the resilience and vulnerability of populations affected by conflict
    Mind the gap – briefing paper 3: Bridging the research, practice and policy divide to enhance livelihood resilience in conflict settings
    2019
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    This is the third in a series of three briefing papers that form part of the Mind the gap – Bridging the research, practice and policy divide to enhance livelihood resilience in conflict settings project, a collaboration between FAO and the Feinstein International Center, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. This briefing summarizes the highlights of two reports on the resilience and vulnerability of populations affected by conflict, including insights from the workshop participants and some implications for policies, programmes and future research.

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