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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?

2.       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?

3.       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?

4.      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:

a)      Are the current structure and language of the principles sufficiently clear and accessible for all relevant stakeholders?

b)      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

This discussion is now closed. Please contact for any further information.

FSN Forum

In general the principles for action are also relevant for refugees and displaced populations, so one of the messages we believe is the need for mainstreaming of refugees within the existing principles.

  • The document is relevant for all people affected by protracted crises, including refugee and displaced populations, and for all countries affected by protracted crises including countries receiving/hosting refugees affected by protracted crises.
  • The 1951 Refugee Convention specifically lays out the rights of refugees, and one of the basic minimum standards is the right to work. The Convention sets out the legal framework conducive to creating conditions for the gradual attainment of self-reliance in countries of asylum. The convention binds signatory states to grant rights which make it possible for them to engage in income-generating activities, and allows them access to local facilities and services. Following the logic of the convention, with the passing of time, refugees should be able to enjoy a wider range of rights as their association and ties with the hosting state grow stronger. In this sense, the 1951 convention gives refugees a solid basis on which they can progressively restore social and economic independence. host states should make every effort to ensure protection of rights that relate to income generation. This includes the right to freedom of movement enabling refugees to market their goods and access the labour market. Equally important is refugees’ capacity to access education, health care and other social services where available. In practice this is not always the case and we would like the paper to highlight the need for advocacy and inclusion of refugees in national plans.
  • According to international human rights conventions refugees have similar basic human rights as people residing in their own country, and states hosting refugees have obligations towards refugees similar to their own people. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights call for all people, including refugees, to enjoy the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family including food , clothing, housing, medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
  •  Comprehensive livelihood, food security and nutrition analysis should also be done for refugees to inform comprehensive policies and actions concerning refugees. Enabling refugees to engage in livelihood strategies to build resilience to food and nutrition insecurity will help refugees become less aid reliant and might help in the process towards durable solutions (including repatriation or local integration).
  • Developing policies and actions concerning refugees will require a concerted action from all stakeholders, including national/host governments and international organisations.

[Detailed comments in the attachment]

Ms. Razan Zuayter The Civil Society Mechanism (CSM), Jordan

1-    Maintaining a human rights based approach to the Agenda for Action is vital to preventing and resolving root causes of food insecurity and malnutrition  in protracted crises which will be important if long term resolutions are intended.

2-A critical condition to the success of the A4A process is identifying methods of mobilizing high level political commitment. Different stakeholders have different roles but it is vital to employ the UN system to ensure that these guidelines are mainstreamed among all of its agencies as well as member states. Such responsibility should be carried out by relevant bodies such as the High Level Task Force as well as the UN Security General’s Special Representative on Food Security and Nutrition.

3-For identifying follow up steps (dissemination,  implementation, monitoring and evaluation, identifying lessons-learnt)  it is extremely important to identify multi-stakeholder platforms and committees (including the CSM such as the technical support team) where by the participatory approach of preparing the agenda should be extended to the next phases.

4-We need particular expertise on monitoring frameworks as well as ways to integrate the protracted crises stream to the upcoming CFS innovative monitoring framework.

5- It is extremely important to include way to support local farmers beyond access to tenure, so we suggest to broadening principle five to the following:

Safeguard the access and control of small-scale food producers and family farmers over productive assets , natural resources, finance, local markets, infrastructure before, during and when emerging from protracted crises.

6-It is important to have a statement that stands against military operations and sanctions that have a negative impact on local food security and nutrition. 

Best Regards


CSM  Protracted Crises Working Group Coordinator

Mr. Ron Ockwell Independent (retired), France

The "zero draft" is a very good basis for refinement. It obviously results from substantial work and, I imagine, a multiplicity of previous drafts! last sentence.

A few comments:

-- The first 4+ pages will benefit for further editing, including streamlining...

-- In several places there are references to "comprehensive policies and actions" (e.g. in #35, principle 3 and #34, principle 4). These might be modified to refer to "coherent and comprehensive policies and actions"

-- In #32 (Principle 2), sub-paragraph 'iv' is unclear. Might the intention be: "However, this is not a valid reason for cooperation partners to by-pass national structures. They should continue to respect the tenets underlying country ownership...strategies and implementation and, where necessary, support capacity development to achieve this"?    

-- In #33(iii) it is said that "comprehensive analyses...require joint and coordinated assessments". Unless I am already out-of-date, recent inter-agency discussions and guidance have distinguished between "joint assessments" and "coordinated assessments" with the former being the rarely-achievable ideal and the latter being what might be realistic to aim for in most situations while advocating for at least joint analyses. Might the reference to "joint and coordinated assessments" be replaced by "coordinated or, preferably joint, assessments" or, even better, "joint analyses based on coordinated assessments"?

I hope this might be helpful. Best (Ron)

Mr. Joseph Schechla Housing and Land Rights network - Habitat International Coalition, ...

It seems that this comment did not make it in to the e-discussion on A4A Zero Draft:


.20 principles should include self-determination

Generating decent work on the land and in food production and distribution are urgent matters, especially in the process of emerging from protracted crises. There the multi-stakeholder synergy must be found to regulate market activity, including state interventions, toward productive and employment-generating outcomes.

21(iii). “elicit flows” [of capital and other assets]

Resilience needs to be redefined to reduce the onus on the victims, emphasize both accountability and liability for crises and causal factors, explicitly recognizing also people and community rights to resist violations that plunge them in to crises, as well as the full implementation of reparations as an entitlement defined in international instruments.

This could be added under principles for Action (para. 30).

28. The reference to the “relationship between humanitarian efforts and development” is an incomplete construct, if it does not integrate the “indivisible and indispensable relationship among humanitarian efforts, development and human rights.”

Principles for Action

Para. 31. draws the link between humanitarian and human rights norms and corresponding obligations, but these are conceptually linked to development. It may be hazardous in the long run to delink development from international law obligations. All Members States under the UN Charter share the tripartite purpose that embraces forward development, peace and security, and human rights.

For enhancing the High-level Task Force’s role, alignment with other shared commitments and obligations, and in the interest of the A4A’s integrity with UN Charter principles, the paramount obligations to uphold peace and security—with regard to food security—almost go without saying, but shouldn’t. The peace-and-security aspect of particularly relevant norms and obligations cannot be obscured in such an Agenda. They could be obliquely interpreted as among humanitarian obligations. However, it would be better for posterity to make this clearer and more specific.

For clarity: Eliminate passive voice and meaningless figures of speech by reformulating afflicted sentences.

Mirna Y. Aragón Sánchez Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los ...
FSN Forum

Por instrucciones de la MVZ Mirna Y. Aragón Sánchez, Directora General de Participación y Consulta de la Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, enviamos a usted las aportaciones al documento referido.

Me refiero a su atento relativo a la revisión del documento denominado “Borrador Cero del Programa de Acción para hacer frente a la Inseguridad Alimentaria en situaciones de crisis prolongada” (CFS-A4A, por sus siglas en inglés), formulado por el Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial, a fin de proponer comentarios específicos en el marco de las acciones de ésta Dirección.

En dicho sentido, nos permitimos proponer los siguientes comentarios, orientados por las preguntas enviadas en su oficio.

1) ¿Cree que los diez principios presentados en el Borrador Cero abordan claramente las cuestiones clave que se requieren para hacer frente a la inseguridad alimentaria y la malnutrición en las crisis prolongadas?

  • En términos generales el documento enmarca de manera muy completa las estrategias del programa. Sin embargo, consideramos que es necesario establecer las definiciones de conceptos utilizados de manera constante, tales como “buen gobierno” e “instituciones fallidas”, entre otros.
  • De fondo, consideramos que la Seguridad Alimentaria involucra una dimensión de acceso, que considera el nivel de ingreso y la disponibilidad de mercados, la cual no está suficientemente integrada al cuerpo del documento. Asimismo, no se observa que se identifique la existencia de acuerdos supranacionales como instrumentos potenciales para la atención de los problemas de la inseguridad alimentaria. En tal sentido, se propone complementar el Principio 4, con la propuesta de identificar incentivos para las empresas y actores privados, que sean promovidos por los gobiernos e instituciones involucrados en la atención a situaciones de crisis prolongadas, que puedan ser capaces de reorientar el funcionamiento de los mercados y fortalezcan la capacidad para su atención.

2) ¿Están las funciones y responsabilidades de las partes interesadas pertinentes expuestas en el Borrador Cero de forma suficientemente clara y definida para facilitar la implementación de los principios?

  • En congruencia con el comentario anterior, se observa que las responsabilidades de los gobiernos nacionales, la sociedad civil y los donantes están acotadas con mucha claridad, no así las de las empresas en diferentes niveles, por lo que se sugiere ampliar la descripción de dicho ámbito de responsabilidades.

3) ¿Son los ejemplos ilustrativos de políticas y acciones indicados en el Anexo A del paquete de recursos suficientes para mostrar como los principios que se discuten pueden transformarse en acción?

  • Se sugiere integrar de manera más enfática esquema relacionados con la regulación u orientación de procesos de mercado a nivel de regiones y países.

4) El CFS-A4A pretende ser un documento de orientación, destinado a fomentar el compromiso político de alto nivel entre todas las partes interesadas en el desarrollo de políticas, acciones, inversiones y acuerdos institucionales apropiados. Como tal:

  1. ¿son el lenguaje y la estructura actuales de los principios, suficientemente claros y accesibles para todas las partes interesantes relevantes?

Definitivamente, la construcción del documento es accesible para lectores de cualquier sector.

  1. ¿qué medidas deben tomarse para que los principios del CFS-A4A sean utilizados e implementados por las diferentes partes interesadas, una vez aprobados por el CSA en su 41° sesión?

Dado que se establece su carácter voluntario no vinculante, se propone que se promueva en el marco de Conferencias Internacionales, Paneles Internacionales, Grupos Focales y Acuerdos, de temáticas diferentes pero asociadas con el problema de la Seguridad Alimentaria, tales como el cambio climático, los derechos indígenas, el desarrollo económico, etc.

Ing. Antonio Fragoso Olivares


Dir. Gral. De Planeación y Consulta. CDI.

Prof. Manuel Moya International Pediatric Association. TAG on Nutrition, Spain

Dear Sir, Dear Madam,

Down please find my unfinished comment on the Zero Draft.

  1. Background and rationale. I would suggest reorganizing the point  that will make up the final text. The concept should come first (1,4,5,6). The definition should name the key characteristics . Next frequency (2,3) and then evaluation(7,8,9). Pont 10 in may opinion has already been considered. Finally actions (11,12,13). I’m not sure if the important 8 points included in 12 are in the appropriate place.
  2. Objective, purpose scope, alignment and audience. All the five entries are ok for me.
  3. Principles for action.

Introduction should probably  be focused on them avoiding repetition of important concepts already mentioned. The concept of resilience should probably require a more      conventional definition so adding the different uses of this concept by organizations.

  1. Principles for action. I reviewed thoroughly the  4 first principles and read all of them.

Question 1. Ten principles, they are adequate. In my opinion principles should carry a clear and concise message, then I’d propose to reconsider if redundancies are present and if the they are perhaps too long, For no full experienced persons with this scientific ideas and language perhaps the text is sometimes not clear enough.

Question 4. CFS A4A document is appropriate both in vision and mission but perhaps a rewording will improve its quality.

This afternoon I’m leaving for abroad, so I feel sorry for not completing my comments as the Zero draft merits.

Yours faithfully    

Manuel Moya

Catedrático E Pediatría/E Professor and Head
Chair of Technical Adviser Group on Nutrition.  International Pediatric Association(IPA)
Chief Editor of IPA Newsletter
International Pediatric Association Foundation, Board of Directors
Vice President European Pediatric Association
Academician of the Real Academia de Medicina

SCN UN Standing Committee on Nutrition, Switzerland


The UN System Standing Committee on Nutrition welcomes this public consultation and would like to give the following feedback on the Zero Draft of the Agenda for Action for Addressing Food Insecurity in Protracted Crisis (CFS-A4A):

Comments on question 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?

General comments:

  1. The immediate causes of malnutrition are insufficiently addressed in this zero draft A4A.

The CFS reform document states that the nutritional dimension is integral to the concept of food security and to the work of the CFS. Food security includes the pillar of utilisation of food that is part of the direct / immediate causes of malnutrition. The outline of the A4A zero draft is very comprehensive. However, in order to adequately address malnutrition, which most probably refers to undernutrition and micronutrient-deficiencies in the context of protracted crisis, we would like to propose a stand-alone principle that specifically focuses on nutrition. This additional principle should be phrased:

new Principle 5: Ensure and support nutrition security of vulnerable groups through programmes and policies that address the direct causes of undernutrition in protracted crisis.

This principle would outline the particular consideration of the nutritionally vulnerable groups of infants, young children and mothers and the importance of nutrition specific programmatic actions to address their particular needs in protracted crisis situations.

This principle could follow after principle 4, that addresses the resilience focused policies and actions to address food insecurity and malnutrition in protracted crisis.

  1. The particular situation of refugees and internally displaced people should be incorporated in the various principles and in this Agenda for Action (A4A).

Chronic and stagnating refugee situations are a growing challenge for countries and the international community. Their total number has increased dramatically over the past decade, and host states and regions of origin feel their effects. More significantly, protracted refugee situations now account for the vast majority of the world’s refugee population. They often live in poverty and food insecure conditions.

We propose that UNHCR to provide relevant inputs into the document on this particular vulnerable population group, and are already in contact with them.

With regard to Principle 3:

Focus should also include monitoring and evaluation, early warning systems and national information systems and measures to strengthen these systems.

An in-depth understanding of populations’ and individuals’ existing coping mechanism, food systems, and nutrition needs, as well as environmental and social synergies, is a key starting point to contextualize food security and agriculture sectorial actions. The importance of nutrition should be stronger emphasized. Not only nutritional situation and response analysis are needed, but greater integration of nutrition-related information also in food security and agriculture information systems is needed. Including indicators of food consumption, (such as dietary diversity and number of meals) and nutrition status indicators (such as stunting) in assessments, early warning systems, and food and agriculture information systems can support the early detection of shocks and particular vulnerable groups. This has several benefits in terms of better monitoring of shocks, situation, context and causal analysis. Food consumption and nutrition status indicators may be early indicators of a crisis and should be used to effectively identify which groups need urgent help.

With regard to Principle 4:

With regard to resilience focused policies and actions to address food insecurity and malnutrition, this principle focuses mainly on the underlying and structural causes of food insecurity and malnutrition. Equally emphasize needs to be put on the direct immediate causes of malnutrition. Therefore we propose the new additional principle on Nutrition as mentioned above.

Particular comments on Para (vii): ……..on other relevant programmatic options:

School-feeding and school gardening is definitely one relevant programmatic option that needs to be included.

The para singles out ‘community-based therapeutic feeding to treat acute malnutrition’. However, this is only one possible action out of the continuum of care and the nutrition-specific actions to address malnutrition in protracted crises situations. Breastfeeding as the most safe food and that ensures nutrition security during the first 6 months of life needs to be mentioned as essential action (‘promotion of breastfeeding’). This needs to be embedded in access to safe water and sanitation, as well as in access to essential health services, as well as women empowerment programmes.

Particular comments on Para (ix): the first 1000 days of live should be mentioned. Infants need to be mentioned and included, and the most important breastfeeding phase has to be mentioned before the supplementary feeding phase! Therefore we propose the following changes:

Particular attention must be paid in the design and implementation of policies and actions to the nutritional needs of mothers, including pregnant and lactating women, infants and young children, particularly between from conception, breastfeeding phase, and complementary feeding phase until aged two.

With regard to Principle 5:

Para (i): malnutrition needs to be included after the word ‘hunger’ in line 4.

Para (vii): second line: the word ‘energy’ right after ‘food’ can be misleading.

With regard to Principle 6:

Particularly here the issue of displaced populations and refugees and their vulnerability to food insecurity and malnutrition need to be addressed.

Para (v): last line should read: …and clearly reflect food security and nutrition considerations.

Comments on question 2.       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?

This should be look at again in light of the proposed CFS draft monitoring framework.

Comments on question 4.      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: a)      Are the current structure and language of the principles sufficiently clear and accessible for all relevant stakeholders?

The document seems long and it could benefit from avoiding repetitions.

Furthermore, the document could benefit if the individual Principles would follow a similar outline and structure. We would further recommend to move the key issue of a para to the beginning of the para. This would facilitate reading particularly if the reader looks for specific information on a particular key word.

A one page summary on the key principles, and a one page summary or better an overview table of the illustrative examples of policies and actions would encourage the easy access to the presented information.

Glossary: equally important as the term ‘food security’ also the term ‘malnutrition’ needs be included in the glossary.


Malnutrition is defined as nutritional disorder in all its forms and includes both undernutrition and overnutrition. It relates to imbalances in energy, and specific macro and micronutrients- as well as in dietary patterns. Conventionally, the emphasis has been in relation to inadequacy, but it also applies to both excess and imbalanced intakes. Malnutrition occurs when the intake of essential macro- and micronutrients does not meet or exceeds the metabolic demands for those nutrients. These metabolic demands vary with age and other physiological conditions and are also affected by environmental conditions including poor hygiene and sanitation that lead to food- as well as water-borne diarrhoea (WHO Global Nutrition Policy Review). When micronutrient malnutrition occurs in persons who are of a normal weight or who are overweight or obese, it is sometimes referred to as hidden hunger. Hidden hunger often has no visible warning signs, leaving sufferers unaware of their dietary deficiency and its potentially adverse impact on their health. Malnutrition is especially serious for infants during the first 1000 days of life (from conception through the age of two), and infants and young children and has largely irreversible long-term effects on the ability of children to grow and learn, and to develop into productive adults later in life. This can restrict the development potential of whole societies and nations, and create a costly and continuing health and humanitarian burden for the country.

Additional Reference documents:

Finally, we would like to urge for the inclusion of the following reference documents into the Appendix C, that will help Member States, Governments and their partners in their efforts to make informed decisions on the appropriate nutrition actions:

WHO (2012): Comprehensive Implementation Plan on Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition. April 2012. A65/11. and

WHO (2013): Essential Nutrition Actions. Improving maternal, newborn, infant and young child health and nutrition.

WHO (2013): Updates on the management of severe acute malnutrition in infants and children. Guideline.

IASC Inter-Agency Standing Committee (March 2012): Multi Cluster/Sector Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA), IASC, Version March 2012.

IASC Global Nutrition Cluster (2011): The Harmonised Training Package: Resource Material for Training on Nutrition in Emergencies and Protracted crisis situations (HTP). Available at and

UNHCR (2011): Food Security of Refugee and Displaced Women: Best Practices.

We thank the Working Group and the CFS secretariat for this opportunity to provide further inputs into the A4A, and look forward to the next draft.

With kind regards

UNSCN Secretariat Team

Engida Mandefro CSM, Ethiopia
FSN Forum

Dear all,

As we all know environment management and natural resource conservation have fundamental contribution to secure food and nutrition security; in my opinion the issue of environment is overlooked either in the principle section or in the appendices. Thus, if possible it better to incorporate the environmental management issue in the document.


Engida Mandefro, Ethiopia CSM

European Union ,
FSN Forum

Principle 1

  • Para iv): As resilience is covered under Principle 4, the people  centre approach should be reflected under this principle.
  • Para vi): Governance is addressed under Principle 7, repetition should be avoided and each principle should focus on a main issue to be dealt with.
  • Para vii): This paragraph is related to the GSF as a reference document in dealing with food and nutrition insecurity in general and does not provided a concrete action to be taken in a protracted crisis context. As this reference to the GSF under Principle 1 is already covered in Appendix C, this paragraph should be removed in order to shorten and shape the text.

Principle 2

  • Para iv): this para should be deleted a it is already covered by paragraph i) and principle 8.
  • Para v): this para is merely descriptive and it is already and should be covered under the Background and rationale section for these principles to provide with more concrete actions and "to do" list.

Principle 3

  • Para i): This paragraph should be deleted as it is already covered by Principle 8.
  • Para ii), iii) and iv) should be merged and shortened.
  • Para v): The second sentence starting by "However….." should be deleted.

Principle 4

  • Para iv): The first part of this paragraph, "Governments should ensure…….. failures of development policies and actors"  is already covered by Principle 2 and therefore should be deleted.

Principle 6

  • Para v) is already covered under Principle 2 and should be deleted.

Principle 7

  • This principle should be redrafted in order to go more in deep in addressing weak governance and weak institutions and by providing more concrete actions to be taken to deal with these situations.
  • In this perspective, we would like to see the “New Deal for engagement in fragile states” mentioned in the principle 7, under the point iii.

Principle 8

  • Para iv), v), vi) and vii) should be redrafted in a more positive way and to clearly provide with actions to be taken avoiding repetition with other principles.

Principle 9

  • Para iv) and v) should be merged and shortened.

Principle 10

  • Para ii): The last sentence starting by "Special efforts should be made….." should be deleted as addressing exploitation and abuse, including sexual, goes beyond the CFS 39 mandate.
Lal Manavado , Norway


Obviously, it is important to ensure a supply of potable water during such crises. And one may even argue that water is a food constituent. However, I will confine myself to food in the sense it is often used.

I envisage two logically inseperable means one needs to use in order to achieve the above objective.

First, it is essential to establish a reliable and sustained supply of the appropriate food stuffs of adequate quality. Their appropriateness is sometimes overlooked; for instance, a supply of wheat flour will be of limited use to people whose staple food is rice. The importance of the quality of food provided needs no elaboration.

The second component involved here, is the delivery of food. This in turn, has two distinct components. First, the transport of food from the source areas to a target area, and secondly,  temporary storage and delivery of food to its final recipients.

So, the agenda in question, must strive to device and implement those two principal components of the means required to adress the issue.

Ensuring a reliable and sustained supply of food stuffs seems to be the most challenging task. Here, I would suggest international action to establish regional and/or national food stocks large enough to meet shortages of food owing to natural disasters, climatic change, or conflict. Such food stocks can be renewed by taking in the new harvest and releasing the old stocks to the market for normal use. The difficulty here, is that the present commodity markets would  violently object to such a move, for it would deprive the commodity speculators of their profit. Once again, a reasonable solution to this problem is a question of political will.

Provided that such food stocks could be established, then it is necessary to build and operated appropriate type of depot at strategic locations, from where they may be transported to a target area. Their diployment should ensure that the food may be transported by land, air or sea with the least possible delay.

The second component of the plan is fraught with many more political difficulties. The first of those is to obtain permission to enter the air fields and harbours of the affected area by foreign transport agencies. Unless some agreement on this can be obtained well in advance, waste of food and increased suffering would ensue.

If agreement on this point obtains,  it would be essential to establish temporary depots of food in or near the target area.  More often than not, the recipient country may not be able to offer much help here.

This activity requires means of food transport from a point of disembarkation to a local depot. So, the agenda ought to consider the establishment of  transportable storage facilities such as tents, huts, etc., that may tolerate a wide variety of weather conditions, and could be put up quickly.

Both the food to be stored in a local depot and the means of its storage would have to be transported from their point of disembarkation by land, air or water (river transport). Target country may not be able to undertake this task.

The final component of transport involves distribution of food from a local depot to those who need it. What is appropriate here may range from mule transport in some remote parts of the Andes to heli-drops. So, whenever possible, the agenda should attempt to obtain prior local agreement on establishing a common transport strategy, at least from the points of disembarkation. Moreover, it would be necessary to secure a similar agreement to bring in supplies from abroad using foreign transport.

Once such agreements are in place, it would be worthwhile to establish either some central depots or quick response commitments  that would enable one to pick and transport the components needed to put up local depots.

I believe  somebody versed in military logistics  would be invaluable in designing the rapid transport one requires here, but much diplomacy would be needed to get the political agreement its implementation requires.

Now, we come to the tricky question of personnel, who would run the relief operation from the point of disembarkation of supplies? Here, a great deal can be done to relieve misery and suffering, and a great deal can be done to enrich oneself at the expense of the victims and donors.

Here, I can only suggest that these operation should be under some supervision of the relevant international body that possesses the appropriate competence. Carefully selected members of the appropriate NGO's may be of value here.

Thank you.

Best wishes!

Lal Manavado.