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The FAO Component of the Consolidated Appeals 2009: Côte d’Ivoire

The FAO Component of the Consolidated Appeals 2009: Côte d’Ivoire
Nov 2008

Over the last six years, Côte d’Ivoire has experienced growing instability as a result of a complex socio-political crisis that erupted in 2002. However, following the signing of the Ouagadougou Political Agreement in March 2007, there has been a considerable improvement in the security situation. This has facilitated the voluntary return of an estimated 69 000 IDPs to their places of origin in western parts of the country during 2007 and 2008, while further returns are anticipated in 2009.

Security remains fragile as the global rise in food and fuel prices has led to violent street demonstrations during 2008 and high unemployment among young men coupled with growing tensions between resident communities and returnees threaten further unrest.

Although the country is beginning to move towards social and political stability, continued humanitarian and early recovery assistance is essential to enable returnee households in western regions to rebuild their livelihoods and to improve the food security and nutrition situation of vulnerable families in northern parts of Côte d’Ivoire.

Challenges facing food security and livelihoods

Soaring global food prices had a significant impact on household-level food security across the country, considerably decreasing purchasing power and forcing families to reduce the quality and quantity of food consumed. The average price of imported rice, which is an essential foodstuff for much of the population, rose by up to 38 percent compared with 2007. In May/June 2008, FAO and the World Food Programme (WFP) conducted the first round of the Food Security Monitoring System (FSMS) survey, which indicated that 24 percent of households in the north of the country were food insecure and 3 percent were severely food insecure. By the second round of FSMS in August 2008, this had risen to 27 percent of households food insecure and 12 percent severely food insecure.

In western parts of the country, IDPs that have returned require urgent assistance to resume agricultural production as quickly as possible. Support is also essential to ensure that tensions between resident and returning households do not result in outbreaks of violence. The distribution of basic agricultural inputs, training and the development of income-generating opportunities for the most vulnerable households in both groups will improve social cohesion and prevent further unrest.

FAO response

In order to improve the relevance and effectiveness of agriculture-based emergency and early recovery interventions in Côte d’Ivoire, FAO plans to support data collection on agriculture and food security, coordinate and facilitate interventions in the agriculture sector, exchange and disseminate food security and nutrition information through the Dynamic Atlas, organize further food security and harvest evaluation missions with the Government and WFP and enhance consensus-building among all stakeholders through the validation of the IPC.

FAO also proposes to improve the food security and nutrition situation of the most vulnerable households by distributing cereal, vegetable and pulse seeds, as well as tools and fertilizers, to smallholder farmers; developing income-generating activities; and providing training for improved agricultural production. Demonstration vegetable gardens will be established in or near selected nutrition/feeding centres and vegetable seeds and tools will be provided for the caretakers of malnourished children being treated at these centres.