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Why some are more equal than others. Country typologies of food security

The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2015-16 Background Paper










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    Book (stand-alone)
    TRADE REFORMS AND FOOD SECURITY
    CONCEPTUALIZING THE LINKAGES
    2003
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    Although given prominence in the context of the current World Trade Organization (WTO) trade negotiations, trade reforms are generally a component of a wider set of economic and institutional reforms. The complexity of reform packages, the wide variation in policy sets, the context within which they are used, and the thoroughness with which they are followed through, makes it extremely difficult to isolate the impact of specific trade reforms on the food security status of developing countries. As yet, there is no clear consensus on answers to general questions, such as “will developing countries benefit from reduced agricultural protection in economies of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)?”, let alone more specific questions which might include “how can developing country governments best promote smallholder agriculture in the new global environment, and what form of special and differential treatment might be required to allow them to do so?” In many c ases, “successful” reforms have been achieved not in isolation, but as a consequence of associated policy implementation. In drawing lessons from reforms that are perceived to have benefited food insecure groups, or at the very least, not to have disadvantaged them, it is therefore important to identify the complementary policies that facilitated the process of adjustment to more productive activities, and any compensatory policies that acted to alleviate the transitional losses that insecure gr oups may otherwise have faced. A clearer understanding of the often-obscured effects of trade reform on food security is therefore vital if the drivers of further reform are to result in changes to the benefit of insecure and vulnerable groups in poor countries.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Lost in translation: the fractured conversation about trade and food security
    The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2015-16 Background Paper
    2015
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    There is heated debate among policy-makers and civil society about the impact of trade and trade policies on food security. This paper speculates on the reasons for such fractured and antagonistic discussion in the hope that a better understanding of these reasons may lead to more convergent views as to which policies and approaches are appropriate. The paper argues that part of the disagreement emerges from: (i) the different meanings attached to trade (Section 2); (ii) the multidimensional nat ure of food and nutrition security, and the large numbers of potential indicators for both concepts (Section 3); and (iii) the variety of channels that may link food and nutrition security to trade issues (Section 4). All three aspects complicate empirical assessment of the interactions between trade and food and nutrition security (Section 5).
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Adapting targeted support to Kuchi pastoralists in Afghanistan for COVID-19
    Promoting COVID-19-safe migration and livestock markets while tailoring livestock packages and cash-for-work schemes
    2020
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    Kuchi pastoralists, numbering around 2.4 million people in Afghanistan, are one of the region’s most vulnerable groups. Their condition has since been exacerbated by COVID-19 and containment measures related to the pandemic. As part of its emerging COVID-19 response, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Afghanistan has taken their unique needs into account in their intervention and re-programming design, which addresses both direct and secondary effects of the virus. Activities are spread across different project streams and intervention typologies, some that predate the global COVID-19 crisis and others recently developed to address specific challenges posed by the pandemic as well as related restrictions. They include a modified livestock protection package to include the distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and hygiene kits, conditional cash transfers targeting herders and their families, support for the COVID-19-safe functioning of livestock markets and on-the-ground sensitization activities, the dissemination of RCCE and IEC materials, and contingency planning for the Kuchis’ safe transhumance to winter pastures. The interventions can be replicated in contexts where there are nomadic and semi-nomadic communities and where livestock keeping forms a significant part of local livelihoods. While short-term shocks to herding communities have been addressed with feed distribution and access to veterinary services, among other inputs, the effects of the COVID-19 crisis have only intensified the underlying vulnerabilities of Kuchi pastoralists. Going forward, more work will also be needed to amplify ongoing interventions that address these deeper drivers of vulnerability.

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