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Global Food Security Cluster

The Food Security Cluster (FSC) has been established to coordinate the food response during a humanitarian crisis, addressing issues of food availability, access and utilisation. It is based at WFP headquarters in Rome and is co-led by FAO and WFP. The Global Support Team includes FAO, WFP, NGO and Red Cross and Red Crescent members.

The Food Security Cluster is about enhancing cooperation and partnerships. It works directly with its partners and stakeholders that include international NGOs, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, other cluster lead agencies, UN organizations, Governments and Donors. The FSC was formally endorsed by the Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) on the 15 December 2010.

The Food Security Cluster (FSC) is committed to saving lives through the coordination of the food response in major emergencies which is only possible through close cooperation with partner organizations. The FSC provides the guidance at the country level that supports a broad base and timely response and works with national and regional cluster systems in both sudden onset disasters, be they from natural or human causes, and long-running crises

Stand-by partnerships

Stand-by partner (hereafter referred to as ‘SBP’) is the term used in the humanitarian context to describe any entity funded and mandated to provide in-kind resources to UN agencies operating in humanitarian contexts. A ‘typical’ SBP is a non-governmental entity (large international NGO) which, in addition to its own programming activities, operates a roster of trained and qualified humanitarian personnel.

The funding to operate the roster and provide personnel on an in-kind basis to UN agencies typically comes from that NGO’s corresponding ministry of foreign affairs, in line with the national Government’s foreign policy agenda. In some instances, however, the SBPs may be governmental, or indeed even from the private sector.

To date, FAO has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), the Canadian Civilian Reserve Roster (CANADEM), iMMAP, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and RedR Australia. FAO is in discussion with several additional entities to enter into similar agreements.

FAO/ILO - Food, Agriculture & Decent Work

The collaboration between ILO and FAO on emergency response and early recovery has been particularly significant for the promotion of early recovery activities that protect and enhance the livelihoods of affected populations. Both agencies have in fact embraced the principle that saving livelihoods saves lives; in other words they are committed to livelihoods oriented early action to i) stop a situation deteriorating and before people resort to harmful coping strategies such as selling off assets, forced migration and sex working, where increased vulnerability and irreversible destitution occur; ii) provide urgent support to restore self-reliance thereby reducing the need for prolonged and expensive relief and iii) promote sustainable recovery in ways that reduce people’s vulnerability (i.e. do not recreate the precariousness that existed before the crisis and contributed to the severity of its impact).

Collaboration in this area between FAO and ILO started in August 2005 in the framework of the meetings of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s (IASC) Working Group on Early Recovery (WGER). As a part of the UN response to the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, ILO and FAO teams started to work together to address issues of common interest, such as damage and needs assessment, advocacy, capacity building, development or adaptation of operational tools and methodologies, to develop a joint approach to donor sensitization and resource mobilization. In line with this and in order to ensure the commitment of the two agencies' respective senior management, a draft Policy Note and a Joint Letter of Intent has been signed by respective Heads of Agencies.

FAO and ILO have developed the Livelihood Assessment Toolkit as a key inter-UN agencies early recovery assessment tool. The Toolkit is used by a number of agencies in the aftermath of rapid onset natural disasters. It is expected that the use of the Toolkit will enhance UN response to rapid onset disasters, by using a livelihood perspective and strengthening the link from relief to rehabilitation and development.

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