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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum


Agenda for Action for Addressing Food Insecurity in Protracted Crises

Dear Forum Members,

Protracted crises are among the most challenging contexts in which to fight food insecurity and malnutrition. Driven by multiple underlying causes such as recurrent natural or human made disasters, weak governance and unsustainable livelihood systems, protracted crises affect an estimated 366 million people worldwide. Of this number, more than one in three people – 129 million – are undernourished, a rate more than twice the level of other developing countries. This represents 20 percent of all undernourished people in the world. The persistent nature of these crises combined with inadequate response threatens lives and livelihoods, eroding coping mechanisms and often making recovery more difficult over time.

In 2010, the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) concluded that protracted crises require special attention. A consultative process was launched to develop and ensure broad ownership of an Agenda for Action for Addressing Food Insecurity in Protracted Crises (CFS-A4A).

Progress can be made toward improved food security and nutrition in protracted crises by addressing known limitations in policies and actions. A wealth of evidence exists on the interventions required to produce sustainable food security and nutrition outcomes. The CFS-A4A distils key principles from this knowledge base, to inform more comprehensive and effective policies and actions.

In addition to offering policy guidance, the CFS-A4A is a call for transformative action – by all actors, at all levels – to provide affected populations the support they need. This requires leveraging the strengths of humanitarian assistance and development actions and resources to implement comprehensive, rights-based policies and actions which address the underlying causes of food insecurity and malnutrition, build resilient livelihoods and food systems and meet immediate needs in protracted crisis situations.

The CFS-A4A is intended to provide practical, evidence-based guidance to governments, affected communities, intergovernmental and regional organizations, civil society organizations, research and extension organizations, universities, the private sector, donors and foundations. The CFS-A4A will be voluntary and non-binding and should be interpreted and applied in line with existing obligations under national and international law.

Consultations with CFS stakeholders on the CFS-A4A have been held since July 2013, and a global meeting was held in April 2014 in Addis Ababa to discuss the CFS-A4A Zero Draft. This e-consultation aims to build on the feedback and input received to date by providing an opportunity for individuals and organizations that have not yet been able to participate in physical meetings.

The negotiated element of the CFS-A4A, including the principles for action, will be accompanied and supported by an online resource package comprising:

  • Appendix A – Illustrative examples of how the principles can be turned into action
  • Appendix B – Case studies
  • Appendix C – Compendium of reference material and evidence
  • Appendix D – Glossary of key terms

All consultation outcomes will contribute to the preparation of the First Draft which will subsequently be negotiated by the CFS-A4A OEWG in Rome in July 2014. The resulting CFS-A4A will then be presented to the 41st Session of CFS in 2014 for endorsement by the Plenary.

We welcome your feedback on the Zero Draft following the questions below:

  1. In general terms do the ten principles presented in the Zero Draft adequately address the key issues required to address food insecurity and malnutrition in protracted crises? If not, what might be changed?
  1. Are the roles and responsibilities of relevant stakeholders outlined in the Zero Draft sufficiently clear and defined in order to facilitate implementation of the principles? If not, what should be changed?
  1. Are the illustrative examples of policies and actions outlined in Appendix A of the online resource package sufficient to show how the principles being discussed can be transformed into action? If not, what should be changed, or are there additional suggestions?
  1. The CFS-A4A is intended to be a guidance document, aimed at encouraging high-level political commitment by all stakeholders in developing appropriate policies, actions, investments, institutional arrangements. As such:
  1. Are the current structure and language of the principles sufficiently clear and accessible for all relevant stakeholders?
  1. What steps need to be taken for the CFS-A4A principles to be used and implemented by different stakeholders, once endorsed by CFS 41?

In order to assist review of the CFS-A4A Zero Draft, previous comments received have been compiled and mapped against relevant sections of the CFS-A4A. Please refer to the comments tracking matrix to better understand the suggestions, proposals, recommendations and feedback already received to date, which will contribute to the elaboration of the First Draft.

We thank you in advance for your time and for sharing your knowledge and experiences with us.

Ambassador Josephine W. Gaita
Ms. Elisabeth Kvitashvili

CFS-A4A Open Ended Working Group Co-Chairs

* Click on the name to read all comments posted by the member and contact him/her directly