Addressing food insecurity in protracted crises: adequate and appropriate funding mechanisms

17.04.2013 - 19.05.2013

The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2010 highlighted that food insecurity is significantly worse in protracted crisis contexts than in other developing countries in four key food security indicators: proportion of undernourished, proportion of children stunted, mortality rate of children under five years old and the Global Hunger Index.  About 20 percent of the world's undernourished people – over 150 million - live in protracted crisis situations, in at least 20 countries[1].

Protracted crises are neither a series of one-off short-lived phenomena, and nor are they  temporary interruptions from which countries easily return to a path towards longer-term development. Rather they represent ongoing and fundamental threats to both lives and livelihoods, from which recovery may become progressively more difficult over time.

These situations result in a number of specific challenges and policy implications, which were discussed last Autumn during the High Level Expert Forum (HLEF) on food insecurity in protracted crises.

What emerged from these discussions was an urgent need to rethink the current mainstream approach to humanitarian, development and related aid delivery mechanisms, and the necessity to build local and national government capacity, accountability and ownership in contexts characterized by poor governance.

Other important issues included the need to mainstream the food-security and protracted-crises discourse into other key for a (e.g. the Busan New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States) as well strengthening coordination between humanitarian and development actors and involvement of civil society.

The CFS endorsed the recommendations of the HLEF report, and launched a two-year consultative process to develop an Agenda for Action to address food insecurity in protracted crises. This online discussion is the first in a series to explore critical topics linked to how we can effectively address food insecurity in protracted crises.

We hope that this discussion will really help to identify, distill and prioritize strategies, approaches, proposals, lessons learnt and concrete experiences that could inform the development of more flexible, responsive and stable funding mechanisms suited to the specific needs of protracted crises situations.

A number of limitations and constraints to engaging effectively in protracted crises can be identified, including conceptual, institutional and programmatic barriers. Does this include limitations due to funding streams?

Flexible, multi-year, sophisticated responses are required, yet funding for such programmes is rarely available. Constraints no doubt include donors’ lack of long-term commitment, but also a rigid development/humanitarian approach that doesn’t fit the reality, or an unwillingness to take risks.

Despite international commitments to improve aid effectiveness, consensus on the need to link humanitarian, recovery and development strategies, and significant investment, the current bifurcation of aid needs to be addressed to better address both the immediate needs and structural causes of protracted crises.

So, how can we move towards a situation where activities are supported, for long enough, and with enough flexibility to be able to adapt to the challenges presented by protracted crises? Are there some practical recommendations that can more effectively promote and support protracted crisis interventions? Are there good examples of existing strategies where donors have developed appropriate funding mechanisms and procedures, which could serve as a model for others?

Based on your own knowledge and experience of funding for programmes in protracted crises, we would like you to consider the following guiding questions:

  • What are the constraints to adequate funding mechanisms?
  • In terms of short-term funding mechanisms and long-term needs, there are examples where programmes have managed to work around this, linking short-term funding to longer-term strategies. Whilst these are generally ad hoc and contingent, what can we learn from these experiences? What were the particular benefits and costs of working this way?
  • Ideally donors should allocate – and account for – funding according to assessed needs and programming opportunities, with sufficient resources to respond to protracted crisis conditions. How can we best advocate for long-term funding commitments, with no interruption in spending, to account for the time needed to overcome protracted and often forgotten crises?
  • What existing flexible, stable and/or innovative funding mechanisms could be built on? Are there any lessons learnt that should be shared? What lessons can be drawn from the experience of USAID’s crisis modifiers, or the EU’s Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel?
  • What are the appropriate roles of donors and the external humanitarian/ development communities, and the roles of national and local government, national and local civil society?
  • Could adapting existing mechanisms (e.g. non-annual CAPs or pooled funds like MDTFs) lead to a more appropriate funding, supporting programmatic objectives more effectively?

As you consider these questions, please share practical insights, evidence, and anecdotes from your personal experience.

I look forward to your contributions, a stimulating discussion and a creative search for solutions.

Thank you in advance for the time and thought you contribute to responding.

Dan Maxwell


[1] Revised in February 2013 applying the three criteria of: (i) on FAO’s list of low-income, food-deficit countries (LIFDC), (ii) 10% or more of external assistance received as humanitarian aid since 2000, and (iii) declared a food crisis (i.e. reported in FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System list) requiring assistance in 8 of the previous 10 years. In 2010, twenty-two countries were in protracted crisis situations. In 2012 Angola was no longer a LIFDC; Tajikistan ceased to have eight of the past ten years on the GIEWS list; Uganda received 9.8% of assistance as humanitarian aid between 2000-10; South Sudan was added in 2012.


Dan Maxwell Convener of the discussion, United States of America

We’d like to thank all our contributors to the Community of Practice e-discussion on “Addressing food insecurity in protracted crises: adequate and appropriate funding mechanisms.”  The discussion didn’t attract as much comment as we had hoped, but we do thank those who contributed. One of the final contributions from Walter Mwasaa made several good additional points: about joint planning cells and crisis modifiers that build a more joined up approach to working in protracted crises; about mathematical modeling and the improved ability to predict when crises will hit, which makes better mitigation both possible and imperative; and about resilience, and the ways that the public, private and civil society sectors have to work together to make investments in crisis-affected contexts work. Other recent contributions noted resource constraints faced, especially by local government and local authorities, and made the plea for better resource allocation and better joined up work. The issues of accountability and the ability to cope with additional aid flows, especially where legitimate funding financing channels may be problematic, were also highlighted. The example of the Protracted Relief Programme in Zimbabwe provided some useful insights: providing a flexible and responsive alternative to more ‘standard’ relief programs; and the value of pooled funding mechanisms to facilitate collaboration (and better programming) through learning and evidence sharing.

However, even as this discussion was going on, a report was issued by OCHA that reconfirms what most of us already know: money spent on the kinds of investments we have been discussing here—particularly on the prevention and mitigation crises, most of which applies to protracted crisis contexts—continues to be a very small drop in the bucket of humanitarian assistance or development aid up through and including 2011.  Funding for post disaster recovery has fared only slightly better.  These two trends should be an on-going source of worry for anyone concerned about protracted crises—and the people caught in them.  The very same OCHA report makes it clear that not only has information about crises improved, many new means of accessing information—and of crisis affected people being able to demand attention—have become available through social media, cell phone networks, and other means.  But to date these new sources of information, or of making demands heard, remain fundamentally attached to a fairly traditional model of crisis-response.  The experience of working in—or living through (!)—protracted crises in recent decades affirms the importance of this kind of response, but also makes it clear that classic humanitarian response alone is not sufficient.  We knew this long before the forum was launched.

The contributions here make it clear that practitioners have good ideas about what to do, and there are potentials for joined up efforts between humanitarian and development practitioners, local authorities, the private sector and disaster-affected or at-risk communities.  But given that this kind of an investment is mainly a public good and therefore has to financed by the public sector, the missing element has been the (political) commitment by the public sector to make these kinds of investments.  The observation that we had no contributions to the forum from anyone responsible for allocating this kind of resource isn’t encouraging.

But it is not the staff of donor agencies where the problem lies.  After all, many of the ideas we have discussed here come from donor agencies (and to be fair, there have been times in recent years where donors were ahead of the practitioner community).  The problem is deeper:  as the discussion on the forum has progressed, there has been another discussion going on in Washington DC about reforming US food aid (long the predominant kind of assistance sent to both acute food security emergencies and chronically at-risk contexts). The Obama administration has proposed reforms to cut back on in-kind food aid and make more flexible cash resources available—either for direct transfers or to purchase food in recipient countries.  The Bush administration proposed similar reforms in 2005 and in the deliberation over a new “Farm Bill” in 2008 (US food aid has long been mandated by agricultural legislation, not foreign assistance legislation—switching it to the foreign assistance budget is another part of the reforms on the table).  Yet even though the reforms demonstrably, (i)  save money, (ii) improve both the quality and quantity of assistance, (iii) shorten the time it takes to respond to crises, and (iv) have strong bipartisan support (it is one of the few changes in US policy in recent years proposed by both the Obama administration and the Bush administration), opposition to the reforms on Capitol Hill remains strong.  This is mainly because of powerful, single-interest lobby groups that care only about their slice of the pie, regardless of the public good—and their ability to sway the votes of democratically elected representatives.

I don’t say any of this to suggest that the answer to the issue of addressing protracted crises is going to be resolved by US food aid reform (although it would be one important step in the right direction).  I say it because many times, the way in which policy decisions (and especially resource-allocation decisions) are made reflect almost nothing about what is known and proposed by practitioners in the field, or by the staff of donor agencies whose actions reflect higher level political decisions.  If we have a relative consensus among practitioners about the right way to respond and the right kinds of investments to make in protracted crises, perhaps we need to invest more time and effort in influencing the politics of the decision-making processes that would actually make available more flexible resources, in something like the relative amounts required, in addressing the set of issues faced by populations in protracted crises.

Perhaps our next online consultation on protracted crises should be about the politics of engagement!

Leo Kortekaas Oxfam GB, Afghanistan

Dear Moderator,

Dear Dan Maxwell,

With interest I'm following / reading the proceedings of the on-line consultation about ways of food security funding in protracted crisis’s. I'm sorry that I received the information about this consultation a little bit too late to write a serious contribution on this topic. But going through the contributions I feel encouraged to write a few words and share some of my experiences around this topic.

For the moment I'm working in Afghanistan for Oxfam GB (with a programme very much oriented towards sustainable livelihoods and food security), a country that is already some 30 years in a cycle of violence and war. I arrived only recently and I do not feel ready to contribute in details into this discussion out from the Afghanistan context.

Before coming here I worked some 2.5 years in Haïti, mainly on the issues related to (emergency) food security. It is in Haïti where I struggled with this question about finding funding for food security activities and project proposals in protracted crisis (not strange, I was in Haïti when the FAO/WFP/IFAD report talking about food (in-)security in protracted crisis came out); and if I would have had the possibility to contribute it would have been around that struggle.

The contribution would have been around the fact that to improve food security in protracted crisis more and alternative ways of analysing the situation need to be done, to find the root causes behind the food insecurity. Out from the root causes investments need to made in practical research and extension services ... etc. to find answers to the questions and to boost the production, to link the production with value adding (processing) activities, to link the added value product with the consumer’s market with or without going through the (commercial) private sector, ...  etc.

Going to donors with these proposals the emergency ones will say (including the UN system, within the CAP these proposals have been written out from the document, as being “not live saving”) sorry your proposal is too much development oriented - we cannot take it into consideration or think about funding. Going to the more development oriented donors, they will say yes - very good and the proposed approach could indeed help tackle the food insecurity - but the country is in (protracted) crisis and therefore we cannot think about starting up development oriented projects, right now – let’s wait for the situation to be stabilised.

I learned to be creative and in many cases it is possible to use emergency funding to work on longer term (development) goals.


On the other hand I could as well have shared some of the very positive experiences with the European Union in Zaïre / DR Congo. During the years 1995 – 2000 (long before people started to speak and write about food (in-)security in “protracted crisis”) the European Union was able to fund out from mixed budgets (ECHO and in the time DGVIII or development budget) activities and projects that exactly were doing what can be done in long during instable contexts (talking about the end of the Mobutu and the start of the (Papa) Kabila period) to help to increase food security for both farmers as at the consumers markets. I do not think that the EU is still able to fund these initiatives by mixed funding sources (even within the EU the humanitarian and the development departments have grown further into silos), but it would be interesting to go back to those experiences and see what can be learned from them to do better in future.

I do hope the consultation will continue and if that is the case, perhaps there will be another opportunity for me to contribute out from my food security experiences in both emergency as in development context and the many experiences that are in the grey zone in between the two.

Best regards

Leo Kortekaas.

Tessa Vorbohle HelpAge International, United Kingdom

Given the complex nature and non-linear dynamics of protracted crises, with countries experiencing recurrent shocks and both, transitory and chronic food insecurity, what would appropriate funding mechanisms look like?

Appropriate funding mechanisms would provide multi-year funding that goes beyond addressing the symptoms of the crisis and would – right from the onset - pro-actively protect people’s productive assets before a process of attrition starts. Where possible it would also promote people’s livelihoods by addressing issues that tend to be perceived as long term developmental issues such as adapting to changes, facilitating access to local markets or resolving land disputes.

Such funding mechanisms and programmes need to be guided by and draw their effectiveness from strong contextual analysis, able to capture intra-country differences and changes over time. HEA based assessments and the IPC framework with their ability to assess livelihood-zone- specific opportunities and constraints for protecting and promoting livelihoods and their ability to assess and predict both, transitory and chronic food insecurity, provide a good basis for this.

Personally, I think that the Protracted Relief Programme (PRP) carried out in Zimbabwe (2004-2012) is a positive example of a funding-mechanism/programme that helped to protect and - to a certain extent – promote livelihoods of poor and vulnerable households in the context of a protracted crisis. Initiated and led by DFID, it became a multi-donor funded programme over time. PRP provided an alternative to the prevailing more traditional types of relief programmes in the country.

The programme supported livestock protection schemes and the production of food by promoting improved and drought resilient techniques and this even during very severe phases of the crisis. Its grounding in strong contextual analysis – over time increasingly using HEA based concepts and tools - allowed the programme to make informed and strategic choices about appropriate interventions for the different livelihood zones and considering how the crisis affected the zones differently, balancing livelihood protection and promotion needs. The inclusion of MoA extension workers in training and delivery efforts built capacity at the local level. T

he programme was flexible and responsive in that it allowed for including new beneficiary groups such as internally displaced people when the need arose. PRP was not only effective in pooling funds but also in establishing a ‘community of practice and learning’ among the various implementing partners (ranging between 23 - 36 NGOs at different times).

The evidence and learning informed the re-design of activities within PRP from one phase to the other but it also had an influence beyond the programme. The analysis framework and generated evidence was for example useful to challenge the timing, targeting and type of the more traditional relief assistance (mainly in-kind food assistance) that was provided separately from the PRP by other programmes. To conclude, to me the biggest lesson to learn and to replicate in other protracted crises is the value of using pooled funding to facilitate collaborative learning, evidence gathering and sharing for being able to grasp and respond to the complex and changing reality of protracted crises.

Another strength of the PRP was that it included most vulnerable households in its livelihood protection and promotion work.

This included elderly headed households and households affected by chronic disease. This is something to highlight, learn from and develop further. While these and other households characterized by constrained labour capacity generally benefit from short term relief and - where in place - from social protection measures, the PRP experience shows that labour constrained households can engage in productive livelihood activities when these are designed with labour saving considerations in mind. This is not meant as an argument to replace relief assistance and social protection for vulnerable households but rather a call for greater inclusion of labour constrained households in (appropriately designed) livelihoods activities as a complementary intervention. Given the unpredictability of short term relief provision and the limited adequacy of current social protection measures in most protracted crises, the inclusion of labour constrained households in interventions that actively protect and promote their productive assets and activities will contribute to increased and sustained food security and livelihoods outcomes of a group that tends to be overlooked in this type of programming.

Al Hassan Cisse Oxfam, Senegal

Contribution Oxfam sur les mécanismes de financement adéquats et appropriés pour les crises prolongées

Les contraintes sur les mécanismes de financement doivent vues selon la nature des crises prolongées. Celles qui sont dues aux catastrophes naturelles ont des contraintes plutôt liées à la durée du financement qui ne permet pas de s’attaquer aux causes structurelles. Il est plus difficile d’assurer un financement adéquat dans les pays où les crises sont dues à des conflits. Ainsi tout mécanisme mis en place doit tenir compte des facteurs ayant entraîné la crise. Généralement il est plus compliqué d’intervenir dans un pays où la crise est causée par un conflit en ce sens que les risques de déviation des financements sont plus élevés. En situation de crises prolongées, les mécanismes de gouvernance et de transparence sont pauvres. Les modalités actuelles de financement des réponses à des crises prolongées doivent évoluer vers un modèle pluriannuel permettant aux intervenants de pouvoir développer des réponses intégrant la réponse précoce, la réponse proprement dite, la réhabilitation (avec une dimension SISA et alerte précoce) et lancer les bases du développement. Ce type de programme, dans le contexte du Sahel nécessite une stabilité de financement sur au moins trois ans pour une zone et un programme donnés. Le mécanisme de financement doit ainsi permettre de s’attaquer aux causes structurelles et répondre aussi aux besoins immédiats. Il faut ainsi établir une approche qui donne la voix aux pauvres parce que dans ce genre de contexte où les garanties d’avoir un appui qui arrive à ceux qui en ont besoin sont faibles. Il faut donc faire un diagnostic participatif des besoins pour déterminer non seulement les besoins réels mais les facteurs sociaux, économiques et culturels contraignants pour la mise en œuvre. Dans les pays qui ont des programmes de financement de l’agriculture par exemple, les populations pauvres n’ont pas du tout accès aux intrants mis en place par les Etats de par leur prix, mais aussi de par les conditions d’utilisation et les relations sociétales de pouvoirs au niveau local qui peuvent notamment faire que les associations de femmes agricultrices soient d’office exclues (cas d’une association soutenue par Oxfam dans le Guera au Tchad) qui s’est vu refusée l’accès au tracteur en 2012, les associations masculines étant privilégiées).

En fin de compte, dans certains cas, le problème se situe moins dans la faiblesse des Etats que dans la volonté politique des gouvernants en lien avec des tendances lourdes de nature politique et de gouvernance. Donc ce que nous devons apprendre est qu’il faut de bonnes structures de gouvernance et s’assurer aussi que les besoins des pauvres soient bien identifiés. Cette approche permet de contribuer à la construction de la résilience en permettant aux populations affectées de mieux se sortir des effets des crises et de pouvoir se réhabiliter.

La vulnérabilité des populations vivant dans les pays en crises prolongées s’accroit au fur et à mesure que les crises durent entrainant du coup une augmentation de la pauvreté. Plus les crises sont prolongées, plus les moyens d’existence sur lesquels les populations comptent pour survivre se dégradent avec comme corollaire des taux élevés de malnutrition. Et les enfants et les femmes sont les premières victimes. L’absence de financement à long terme ne permet pas dans ce cas de s’attaquer aux causes structurelles et augmente le coût des interventions humanitaires. Ce constat fait au Sahel appelle à un financement qui va au-delà des réponses d’urgence.

La question du financement viable et flexible reste centrale. Il s’agit de voir quel est le canal où doit passer l’aide pour s’assurer au moins qu’elle soit bien dépensée. Il est difficile de trouver des canaux légitimes de financement lorsqu’il n’y pas de contre partie nationale fiable et le risque est de créer des systèmes parallèles basés sur les agences humanitaires. Cette situation favorise le désengagement de l’Etat dans la durée ou l’absence de renforcement des capacités /accompagnement des Etats dans leur mandat. En même temps il se pose le problème de la redevabilité et de l’implication de la société civile, quand le tissu social a été détruit par de longues crises. Vu la faiblesse de l’administration étatique dans les pays à crises prolongées, les agences humanitaires restent le seul réceptacle du financement. Ainsi pour que le financement soit durable, il faut établir un mécanisme de transfert de compétences aux Etats en favorisant la participation des structures étatiques dans le processus mais aussi la société civile. L’inclusion des communautés dans le processus est nécessaire pour garantir la transparence et l’efficacité du financement qui doit reposer sur un horizon long terme et répondre aux priorités identifiées. Mais bâtir un développement viable et durable repose sur l’appui à la reconstruction d’une administration étatique capable de bien délivrer les programmes.

Etant donné le caractère faible des structures de l’Etat dans ce genre de pays, les bailleurs de fonds et la communauté humanitaire devraient s’efforcer d’appuyer le renforcement des capacités des Etats et de la société civile. Les actions devraient s’inscrire dans une dynamique et une approche d’ensemble pour mieux harmoniser les actions.

Au niveau du Tchad, il y a eu une évolution significative depuis 2012. Le concept de résilience semble avoir eu une oreille plus attentive auprès des donateurs tels que ECHO qui se sont appropriés le plaidoyer pour des financements plus intégrés et inclusifs des différents pans de la réponse à une crise qui dure. Cette vision plus en phase avec les lignes de plaidoyer des acteurs tels qu’Oxfam a permis l’émergence de nouveaux instruments de financement, notamment par l’Union Européenne, à travers son Programme Thématique sur la Sécurité Alimentaire. Cet instrument permet aujourd’hui d’assurer la durabilité des acquis des projets de réponse d’urgence financés par ECHO et les autres bailleurs « d’urgence », à travers le développement de programmes plus orientés vers la construction de la résilience communautaire, mais aussi vers la valorisation des potentialités agricoles et économiques dans les régions de la bande sahélienne du Tchad, dans une logique de moyen et long termes, de création de la richesse et de renforcement de la citoyenneté paysanne.

Cette approche permet également une rationalisation de l’aide : les fonds de réponse d’urgence (life saving) sont réellement destinés à sauver des vies, avec une assurance que des programmes à moyen terme dans la même zone pourront contribuer à limiter les externalités négatives d’une réponse d’urgence (logique Do No Harm), tout en renforçant la capacités de la communauté à faire face à la prochaine crise (étant donné qu’il y aura toujours des pics de sécheresse dans la bande sahélienne à des intervalles plus ou moins réguliers).

Pour le financement des réponses à des crises prolongées, il est primordial de ne pas perdre de vue la capacité des Etats à faire face, avec un complément de l’aide extérieure, via les acteurs étatiques ou non étatiques.

Les CAP non annuels et les fonds groupés comme le MDTF peuvent être considérés comme solutions pour éviter la dispersion dans des situations aussi complexes. Il permettra une analyse commune et des interventions plus coordonnées des acteurs tout en favorisant la participation des communautés nationales et locales.

Au niveau des fonds qui transitent via le système des nations unies, il n’y a pas eu une grande évolution, sauf au niveau de la forme. En 2012, au moment de la définition du CAP 2013, une consigne avait été donné à tous les acteurs de considérer les besoins pour deux ans, c'est-à-dire que le CAP devait couvrir 2013 et 2014. Mais avec le très faible niveau de financement du CAP en 2012 déjà, il est probable que cette initiative n’ira pas plus loin que ça.

Samuel Kouakou Ministère de l'Agriculture, Côte d'Ivoire

Le problème de l'insécurité alimentaire dans les crises prolongées amène à analyser la durabilité des actions humanitaires qui se déroule alors sur un long temps.

Une activité humanitaire se veut, par essence, courte et limitée dans le temps. De ce fait, en situation de crises prolongées la mise en œuvre des activités doit impliquer les structures gouvernementales ou les ONG nationales qui sont pérennes. Elle peu également s'appuyer sur les coopératives ou des groupements de producteurs des zones affectées. Les institutions gouvernementales étant celles en charge de la mise en mise en œuvre des politiques, elles doivent être fortement impliquer dans la coordination des activités humanitaires afin d'assurer la relevé une fois les programmes des ONG internationaux achevés.

Des réunions de coordination doivent être organisées avec toutes les parties prenantes pour une meilleur appropriation. Les institutions gouvernementales doivent être appuyées en moyens logistiques et financiers, au cas ou le financement des activités revenait à un organisation non étatique, afin d'assurer un meilleur suivi mais surtout être à mesure d'évaluation. Très souvent les gouvernements n'ont pas de mécanismes suffisamment souffre pour la gestion et le financement des activités humanitaires qui se veulent à intervention rapide. Cela est dû surtout au procédure de gestion des finances publiques en vigueur dans nos pays. L'exemple de la Côte d'Ivoire où le Ministère de l'agriculture a mis en œuvre un programme d'urgence en réponse à la crise socio-politique, est assez éloquente.

Les Directeurs régionaux et Centraux de l'agriculture ont été impliqués dans la formulation, le suivi des activités. Il s'agit entre autres, de la distribution des intrants agricoles aux différentes coopératives des régions sinistrées. Des fiches de suivi et un contrat de performance ont été élaborés pour chacune de ses structures déconcentrées de sortes qu'après chaque activités, la mise en œuvre d'une autre (appui logistique ou financier par exemple) était basée sur l'évaluation de leurs prestations.

Cette situation a permis un meilleur suivi des activités des coopératives agricoles impliquées dans la production agricole. En retour ces coopératives ont pu soutenir d’autres activités telles que les cantines scolaires des écoles de ces régions et couvrir les besoins alimentaires des populations. Enfin, même si pour des raisons de bonne gouvernance, les financements ne peuvent pas être confiés aux structures gouvernementales, ces structures doivent néanmoins être étroitement impliquées et les moyens mis à leur disposition suivant des contrats de performances.

Les ONG locales et même la société civile n'ont pas toujours les capacités pour une gestion efficient des finances mis à leur disposition.

Walter Mwasaa Save the Children, Ethiopia

Allow me to throw in my contribution albeit further down the conversation. I have enjoyed reading the thought provoking contributions and would like to add below:

With dwindling domestic budgets and limited impact most traditional donors are beginning to seek development solutions that deliver cost effective interventions with clear impact. A term that has recently come to the center stage is resilience which I revisit later. Better integration/coordination and planning by donors, government, aid agencies and stakeholders is called for.

Taking the Horn of Africa as an example, there is a renewed sense of integration/collaboration and joint planning, a better appreciation of the factors that affect program delivery and new terminology such a Layered, Integrated and Sequenced program are emerging (USAID - Joint Planning Cells framework - The essence is to see all interventions as contributory and building onto one picture.

An old development truth that has been in place over the years is that human development is not linear but a chain of complex interdependent variables that together determine economic and developmental outcomes on communities. Increase in these variables ranging from climate, government policies and administrative borders and national, regional and global impact on markets of products have led to increased disenfranchisement. Wealth thought through project designs are brought to naught as are development gains are wiped out by any or a combination of these and a myriad of other variables.

The crisis modifier approach has been lauded as a success in reducing the erosion of developmental gains and needs to be promoted. The setting of the crisis modifier enable aid community under USG funding to shift gear in the 2011 drought in Ethiopia and deliver immediate life saving interventions reducing the losses. Its timely triggering, delivering the correct interventions and to the right persons in appropriate quantities is essential. Another approach is the contingency budget incorporated into the Government of Ethiopia's PSNP program its success in protecting regression on the "livelihood ladder" is also dependent on the same factors as affects the crisis modifiers.

Coming back to the factors affecting livelihood there is a more pressing need to accurately anticipate the challenges and their impact. As interventions flip flop between development and relief and all the mutations in between, a better understanding of the resilience affecting factors and outcomes is requisite. Science has equipped us with a good understanding of many complex phenomenon through models (eg By creating mathematical models including temperatures, atmospheric pressure, and prevailing winds, scientists can forecast how these factors will affect the development and movement of a storm. Much of the programming of these models is based on the study of previous hurricanes- we can tell where a hurricane will fall way ahead of its time- Now more than ever, it is paramount that we begin to model the impact of shocks and other livelihood challenges in a process to determine the impact of the shocks and get to closer to understanding the potential impact and the most appropriate responses including the levels of engagement required.

Another area that I believe needs a closer look into is the whole area of the logic of resilience. (“The ability of a system, community or society exposed to hazards to resist, absorb, accommodate to and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner” United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) from my little I would take this definition to elasticity which has been used to explain resilience as ability to bounce back think of a tennis ball or an elastic band. There is a reality that all the natural objects bounce back only within the limits of elasticity. I don't intend to demote the complexity of human development and economics to physical matter but I believe in the same manner households, livelihoods options and communities have levels of elasticity beyond which recovery cannot be anticipated.

Inclusion - we need two contextual and dynamic models that provide us with the:

- ability to determine when to stop supporting which intervention with some level of accuracy with all factors considered by determination of livelihood "elasticity limits".

- ability to determine and quantify within a dynamic context the various factors and impacts each variable has on a household, livelihood, community so as to tailor flexible programs that will be responsive and adoptive and provide a range of responses given identified challenges.

I believe we can move towards more predictable outcomes once we model the community level challenges with a clear eye to the dynamics that exist. This will most likely then develop a confident donor , government , private approach to development problems in recurrent crises.

Dan, I look forward to seeing the conclusions to the conversations and specifically on the third bullet which is what I have attempted to deal with.


Walter Mwasaa

Chief of Party for Save the Children's USG funded Development Food Program that supports the GoE's PSNP program

Dan Maxwell Convener of the discussion, United States of America

Again, we’d like to thank the contributors who have shared their ideas on this complex topic. Many themes have emerged, but perhaps too much is being read into the purpose of this online discussion. The focus here is specifically on protracted crises—contexts in which either very long lasting or repeated crises make the attainment of food security a particularly challenging policy goal.

The contribution from Bangladesh indicates that it is possible to have coordinated efforts involving the government, donors and agencies; an appropriate mix of short-term interventions to protect both food access and longer-term action to improve livelihoods—and the flexibility to adapt to circumstances in implementation of those interventions. Although Bangladesh doesn’t appear on the list of countries in protracted crisis, many of the issues faced in Bangladesh are similar, in that the threat of weather related crises and the context of food security more generally are similar. We would welcome some further information or documentation from this effort—and from efforts of a similar nature in other places.

Unfortunately, we have not yet had direct comments on this forum from donor agency officials. We would like very much to hear from individuals working for donor agencies, commenting on both the innovations that have been tried out, and some of the constraints.

To reiterate, the context of protracted crisis is one in which outside support is necessary. Broadly speaking, the notion of engaging in these areas is based on the “ounce-of-prevention” hypothesis — that risk reduction, mitigation and building more resilient livelihoods is not only an ethical imperative, it also makes good economic sense from the point of view of donor and government investments, even though they are by definition not high-production, high-return areas. But, as we found when we did the 2010 State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI), the evidence about this hypothesis remains fairly thin. We would very much like to hear a wider range of experience from practitioners about your experiences.

We hope to hear from more of you on some of these themes in the coming days.



Suneetha Sapur Akkshaya Foundation, India

First and foremost we are not sure about funding agencies that are willing to fund for food security especially to achieve nutritional security.

We established vision garden to prevent nutritional blindness, with the support of an eye institute and able to continue it for 2 years but not able to mobilize the funds, so we were not able to scale up the program. similarly working on sustainable nutrition to prevent skeletal Fluorosis in children by reducing undernutrition.

Undernutrition deficiency of calcium, magnesium enhances the absorption of fluorine and leads to deformed bones and crippling, even for this project we were not able to mobilize much funds. when i approached an organisation for funding, they asked me what is the business model after end of 2 years, which is difficult to define and develop a business model.

I am looking for organizations who can consider agriculture based interventions.

Solomon Tesfaye BFPDI, Ethiopia

I greatly need to appreciate to those who initiated this important discussion that has significant contribution both for donors and policy makers to re-think the current development approach by evaluating their existing approach in terms of alleviating food insecurity problem in protracted area of East Africa pastoralists.As you all know drought in east Africa specially in pastoralist and agropastoralist area become very common due to the fact that climatic shocks(impacts) and associated resource dwindling resulted in recurrent drought and inter and intra-ethnic conflict due to shortage of resources(water and pasture)however these protracted humanitarian crisis approached by all actors in manner that address only short and immediate causes rather than underlying causes.The recent past great east Africa drought interventions could be a recent experience that donors and other international organization should draw a valuable lesson.Very few organization designed a recovery and drought resilience program in Borena and Somali pastoralists and majority are expecting another cycle to come to extinguish the immediate fire. Drought become short cyclical event in east Africa pastoralists, even if this is well recognized by many donors they are stick to old program design fashion that doesn't adress the root cause of drought.

Revocatus Lazaro United Republic of Tanzania

we must look food security in broader way as it is the multidimensional phenomenon (that involves food availability, accessibility, stability, and utilization). this means that making food availability, accessible, stable and its proper utilization we need a coordinated knowledge from the upper level to the lower level (producers/consumers), these are through improving policies on food production, improving physical and economic access to food, and good coordinated food transfers. also market availability for products is important that the produces may not get lose, and this goes on hand with good infrastructure and communication. proper policy formulation and implementation on food production is the basic for farmers. most of the policies on food production do not improve productivity. i have one example in Tanzania we have a policy "kilimo kwanza' means "agriculture first' this has failed to achieve its objectives of improving food in the country because its implementation is not good to lead to the objectives. so policy implementation is also required for successful food production. one report from The citizen newspaper asking "Has Kilimo Kwanza policy strategy failed to deliver'? i have included on the attachment so that you can reflect what policies needs to achieve our goals.

Dan Maxwell Convener of the discussion, United States of America

We’d like to thank the contributors who have weighed in with their ideas so far in response to the questions posed at the start of this discussion. Several themes emerge from these contributions. Among others, these include:

  • Timing and donor time horizons
  • Building partnerships (particularly donor/government/civil society partnerships)
  • Preventing fraud and corruption
  • Having some kind of tracking mechanism without becoming overly bureaucratic

Though no one has explicitly mentioned it, one of the obvious linkages between the Agenda for Action to address food insecurity in protracted crises and current practice is the whole area of resilience programming. “Resilience” is clearly the popular theme in programming—particularly in the aftermath of regional crises in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, and it touches on nearly all these topics:

I’ve been asked to comment or feedback on numerous program designs in both regions recently, and am struck at the range of interventions being implemented under the general objective of promoting resilience. But, while the very notion of resilience implies an increasing ability to manage risk and cope with adversity over time, the implementation timelines of many of these interventions continue to look like the kinds of program timelines we would expect to see in an acute humanitarian emergency (indeed, some of the emergency interventions themselves had a longer life span than some of the “resilience” programs designed to assist recovery and prevent repeat disasters). There is a willingness to try out new ideas—and to combine multiple interventions into one kind of program. But there is still a reluctance to engage with time frame necessary to plan for real change. This is an example of the kind of apparent mismatch between objectives and funding mechanisms that have long characterized work in protracted crises. The “resilience” concept (which in fact has been around for a long time, but has recently been rediscovered) has introduced a lot of new programmatic and policy thinking—but remains constrained by time frames. We’d like to hear some more about why people think this is the case?

The tracking mechanisms notion—and what to do about the consequences—should be another important issue to this discussion. Many of you will have seen the recent report from the Royal Institute of International Affairs (a.k.a. Chatham House) “Managing Famine Risk: Linking Early Warning to Early Action.” That report reiterates what many of you already know—that for many reasons even when we have good early warning and good tracking mechanisms, we still don't intervene in a timely manner even when tracking indicators suggest that we should. Sometimes we like to blame donors for this, but there is plenty of blame for nearly everyone in the Chatham House report. So the question is, what are governments, donors and agencies—and affected communities!—doing differently as a result of recent experience? We’d be interested to hear some front-line accounts of these changes. While the Chatham House report was specifically about famine risk, many of its findings and recommendations are more broadly applicable in protracted crises. And we’re interested in particular to hear about innovative mechanisms for adapting both programming objectives and activities in light of changing circumstances. Part of the Chatham House report was about the limited flexibility in program planning and funding mechanisms, and the limited extent to which program capacity incorporates good preparedness and contingency planning in chronically risk-prone areas.

We hope to hear from more of you on some of these themes in the coming days.



Subindu Paul Shushilan, Bangladesh

(The followings are personal comments. Does not represent any organizational view)

Dear All, Why we are talking about funding mechanism in the field of food security? Does agricultural land stop producing crop plants? Does climatic parameters not supporting production? Is cultivable land expanding or shrinking day by day? Does our farmer community reluctant to cultivate food grains? Why agricultural inputs production and supply controlled day by day by middle man other than farmers? Does producer groups around the world familiar with modern research out puts? Does concern government department not play favorable role to farming? Does farmer community not aware on disaster risk reduction? Why crisis affected community do not have their contingency food stock of it's own? Why developmental organizations got fund from multiple channels on same issue? Is there any zoning of funding demand? Does existing funding mechanisms consider holistic approach?

Disaster in any form provides scope to review on the area of development needed. Food security in written document makes me uneasy unless community reports on damage of crops in disaster. Those production zone has more crops there would be more loss immediate after crisis. And it is an evidence of food security for that zone. Funding channel should be mobilize in that zone in single track.

Dr.Joan P Mencher CUNY, United States of America

My work has primarily been in South Asia. Among the lowest 25% of the population (actually even a larger %) food insecurity is quite common. The definition of food insecurity nationally in India tends to leave out a large number of households where the women and children are unable to get enough to eat, especially children too young to go to school (where there might be school feeding) or they are not going to school for a wide variety of reasons. Persistent and chronic under-nutrition and mal-nutrition are rampant. Forced to give up land reform back in the 70s as a result of US influence, India gives a picture to the west of glossy new neighborhoods and fancy food estabishments yet the poor are often denied even ration rice or other things. For example a man who works in an urban area as a rickshaw driver cannot get a free ration for his children because of how the minimum wage is defined, Yet such workers cannot feed their family members, especially the females (girl children and wife) adequately. If the wife works away from home, it will mean the girl child cannot go to school since she is needed for baby care. Clearly local and national policy changes are needed to eliminate food insecurity. World-wide enough food is grown to feed the poor, but without policies to distribute the food in a timely manner, many suffer needlessly. Obviously the UN cannot tell countries what to do, but certainly FAO needs to also include issues of food distribution to the poor in its discussion.

Jonnathan Osorio Pineda Banco de Alimentos Medellin-Colombia, Colombia

¿Cuáles son las funciones adecuadas de los donantes y las comunidades humanitarias/de desarrollo externas, y el papel de los gobiernos nacionales y locales, y de la sociedad civil nacional y local? Lo vemos como un modelo corresponsable para la acción social, por ello por medio de las alianzas público-privadas generar desarrollo desde lo humano, pero con trazabilidad que permita lograr más apoyo y ante todo se vea el impacto de los actores. ¿Cómo podemos fomentar los compromisos de financiación a largo plazo, sin interrumpir el gasto, para justificar el tiempo necesario para superar las crisis prolongadas y a menudo olvidadas? Por medio de unidades sostenibles, que permitan generar sostenimiento, por ello desde el inicio todo no va al gasto si no a la inversión social sostenible. ¿Cuáles son las restricciones a los mecanismos adecuados de financiación? Construcción técnica de proyectos internacionales. ¿qué podemos aprender de ellas? El manejo de la trazabilidad de los capitales semilla. ¿Cuáles fueron los beneficios y costes específicos de trabajar de esta manera? no lo hemos hecho ¿En qué mecanismos de financiación existentes, flexibles, estables y/o innovadores nos podríamos basar? ¿Hay lecciones aprendidas que se deben compartir? ¿Qué lecciones se pueden extraer de la experiencia de los modificadores de crisis de la USAID, o de la Estrategia de la UE para la Seguridad y el Desarrollo en el Sahel? Alianzas publico privadas ¿Adaptar los mecanismos existentes (p.ej. los límites no anuales o fondos comunes como los Fondos fiduciarios de donantes múltiples) daría lugar a una financiación más adecuada, que respalde los objetivos programáticos más eficazmente? Objetivos alineados al impacto y al cronograma


Dear Dan Maxwell

I agree with your argument that the funding agencies can make a significant difference in developing sustainable food security in fragile societies and states. But your statement paper is silent on donors' roles regarding their inappropriate funding practices that escalated in fragile states.

I see that many agencies have contradictory roles in funding in the fragile societies. The agencies funded projects based on increasing food security through direct sources such as seed production and distribution. But the agencies have also funded activities that have hampered indirect contribution to food security or indigenous hedging institution and practices.

Funding for reducing forest resources and other common property resource bases food security systems, for addressing powerful countries’ benefit and interest, is an example. The protracted crises problems are associated with many sociocultural values and practices in the societies. If you deeply analyse the dependency of people suffering from protracted crises you can see that they were historically depended on common property resources.

The resources are more valuable for indigenous communities whose culture and social value are still largely based on communal systems and resource management practices. The management of the common property resources for food security purpose would increase food security and also provide a hedge for extreme conditions.

However, the donor agencies have ignored the issues. The problems of the donor agencies and other environmental conservation agencies (e.g. IUCN, UNEA and WWF) should be addressed in the Agenda of Action.


Note: The professional circle in the natural resource field has well understood that the donor agencies have funded and influenced national policies of common property resource resources management in the fragile sate but they have not effectively raised this issue in international policy discussion forums.

It is an unethical practice. 


Thank you.

B, Dhakal

Rosanne Marchesich FSC-FAO and WFP, Bangladesh

THIS IS A JOINT COMMENT FROM FSC (FAO: Rosanne Marchesich and WFP: Ally_-Raza Qureshi)

The FSC in Bangladesh works closely with the Government, the Local Consultative Group Working Group on Disaster and Emergency Response (LCGDER) and participate in meetings of the Humanitarian Coordination Task Team (HCTT) on all emergency coordination related activities/issues as well as maintain constant liaison and exchange of information with its government counterparts (including the Local Consultative Group on Agriculture, Food Security and Rural Development chaired by the Ministry of Agriculture and co-chaired by FAO. This structure is in place to ensure government leadership and help ensure a programmatic approach between emergency and development across the different structures. The Donors and Government are engaged at the all levels.

The FSC has previously dealt with two emergencies in 2012 namely waterlogging in Satkhira in early 2012 and the North Western floods in September 2012. A contingency planning exercise would serve to consolidate and strengthen cluster member coordination and reach in case of an emergency.

The FSC are working to enhance its preparedness measures and as part of this effort, a decision was made in February 2013 by FSC members, to initiate a contingency planning or road map exercise. The key objective is to strengthen the cluster’s ability to ensure proportionate, appropriate and timely food security responses to mitigate the impact on the affected communities with a focus on operational gap filling and elimination of duplication of assistance in times of emergency. The contingency plan functions on the assumption that the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) is primarily responsible for leading any response for disaster and crises, including at the divisional, district, upazila and union levels. The contingency plan provides a timely and effective complement to the GoB response.

Maintaining the normative functions of the FSC require minimal costs and Bangladesh has been successful in receiving funds to support these functions ( IPC, Needs Assessments and IMO activities including developing a FSC contingency plan) at the national level. The difficulty is to advocate for timely and sufficient funds for a coordinated and appropriate response, among FSC members (which includes I/NGOs UN and Government), following a needs assessment and in line with the contingency plan. This continues to be the biggest challenge. Traditionally, most funding is made available when a disaster occurs and often chronic/protracted crisis situations do not get funded unless there is an acute shock of significant magnitude and wider media coverage. Funding is often not available to address chronic situations. Changes in funding can improve and support faster recovery due to increased preparedness in disaster prone areas and addressing chronic food insecurity in protracted situations.

The current funding mechanisms support short term projects as immediate response to crisis while development assistance is funded separately for long term interventions. Often the short term crisis is caused by lack of funding for long term interventions. Long term interventions such as disaster risk reduction programmes often address the underlying causes of crisis.

The FSC has previously dealt with two emergencies in 2012 namely waterlogging in Satkhira in early 2012 and the North Western floods in September 2012 followed by the 3W exercise completed by the FSC members. The major objective of the NW Flood initial assessment was to assess the damages to agriculture, food security and livelihoods and estimate the number of households in need of immediate assistance. The 3W matrix provided a clear picture of the most vulnerable households being reached, through the proactive interventions of the FSC members, and those that still require assistance, preventing overlap and gaps, in the nations response. The exercise found that some 94,519 households of the total 105,616 marginal farmers (37% of total affected households) have been addressed. However, significant needs remain unmet. On the one hand, an estimated 49,000 households (comprising about 17,500 agricultural day labourers and 31,500 marginal farmers) required urgent cash/food assistance over the course of the next three months. This support was needed in order to guarantee a minimum level of consumption until such times as the agricultural cycle resumes and the labour market can recover.

A request for funds was submitted to donors within the country and EUR1million was provided from one donor only, thus not all the needs could be met. Currently, a follow up needs assessment is being carried out and preliminary results generate more funds for a cash and food response has reduced the affected populations ability to recover quickly. The results will be available soon.

It is extremely important to determine potential funding sources, during “peace time” so that if and when emergencies arise, appropriate and timely responses can be provided to beneficiaries. If successful fundraising is not achieved, the normative functions of the FSC will be seen as an additional task to its members and a burden, instead of a benefit, to the affected communities. It is encouraged that the DP are an active part of the cluster, but potential immediate funding mechanism need to be in place, perhaps through a programmatic approach as we know there will be emergencies, the only uncertainty is the severity, location and time.

The challenge of working with short term funding mechanisms to address longer term needs are (i) uncertainty and lack of predictability of funding impact planning and implementation (ii) Challenges to scale up the programme. Short term funding can however be used to demonstrate successful models, which help to generate evidence on the results. The successful models can then be funded through the Government regular budgets through mainstreaming in the sector plans.

The pooling of flexible short term funds also is another effective way of addressing the longer term needs as demonstrated with the Country Investment Plan where funding is from the core GoB resources but additionally other actors contribute to the various elements of the CIP through short term projects.

In Bangladesh, the Country Investment Plan (CIP) “A road map towards investment in agriculture, food security and nutrition” managed by the Food Polciy and Monitoring Unit, Ministry of Food, is also a strong advocacy tool for increased allocation of financial resources from both the GoB and Development Partners. The CIP is a 5-year comprehensive plan that aims to ensure sustainable food security. It is aligned with and embedded in the Government’s 6th Five Year Plan as well as with the national budgetary framework. One proposal would be to expand the CIP, to address emergency funding requirement linked to food security and nutrition of ultra-poor, marginal and disaster-affected households. Protracted crises need a combination of both humanitarian and development assistance , this means that flexible funding should be available where funding should be available to address longer term strategies and projects with flexibility to address acute humanitarian crisis as and when required.

Also, LCG-AFSRD is the key plat form for this tool, which from the above diagram is linked to the FSC. This linkage should be further strengthened to: (1) expand opportunity for linking short and longer term funding opportunities; (2) help ensure an integrated emergency and development response. expand the CIP to address emergency funding requirement linked to food security and nutrition.

Rosemary Hayangah Unıversıty, South Africa

The debate on long term food securıty ıs long overdue. one major area, whıch ıs often not ıncluded ın the programmes/strategıes adopted ın the crıtıcal ıssue of land use/spatıal plannıng and the settlements and the ımpact these aspects would have ın food productıon.From the Afrıcan context long term food securıty wıll ulımately ınclude securıty for the dısplaced who mıght be hındered from actıvely producıng food because of the vıolence that ıs well documented globally. ıt ıs argued that sımply gıvıng hand outs can not be a solutıon and that fundıng must ınclude securıty,spatıal plannıng and approprıate habıtatıon.

Leonardo Henrique Ferreira Calsavara Calsavara Federal University of São João del-Rei, ...

The extractive model of agriculture based on deforestation, fire, grazing, and super turnings excessive soil has caused the degradation of the agroecosystems. In Brazil, for example, more than two thirds of the 130 million hectares of pasture areas are in some stage of degradation. An alternative for the producer, it is to incorporate such areas into the production systems in a planned way. This means, not only increase food supply nobles such as milk, meat, and cereals, but also produce multiple planted forest products, such as wood, energy, fiber and biodiesel.

The recovery degraded areas foster economical benefits, as well as social and environmental ones, too. By incorporating these areas in the production system, we will minimize pressure on native forest and reduce deforestation. All these without the need to open new agricultural frontiers. Also, it could develop employment and income, produce cheaper food, favour poor consumers, and decrease poverty and misery. Thus, the Brazilian government launched a credit line called “Programa Agricultura de Baixa Emissão de Carbono - ABC” (Agriculture Low Carbon Programme) aiming at the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices. The ABC Programme finances multiples systems, such as the recovery of degraded pastures and reserves, no - tillage, planted forest, biological nitrogen fixation, treatment of animal wastes, silvopastoral, agroforest and agrosilvipastoral. The maximum amount financed is up to R$ 1 million (about US$ 499.450, 00) per transaction. The deadlines for payments are between 5 to 15 years, with interest rate of 5% per year. The aim of the Brazilian government in launching the programme, it is to align it with the country’s commitment to reduce CO2 emissions in agriculture, between 133 and 156 million tonnes by 2020, according to Copenhagen COP-15, in 2009. Since 2008, this agrosilvipastoral system has been implemented in the town of Coronel Xavier Chaves, state of Minas Gerais, (3301 inhabitants), with the help of Emater-MG, in partnership with Embrapa Dairy Cattle. So far, they have recovered about 91 hectares of degraded areas through agrosilvipastoral systems. Because of the good results related to the use of the new systems in that town, last year, ABC credit line programme released the amount R$ 113.000,00 (about US$ 56.437, 92) to a local farmer project to recover the degraded pastures of his farm through silvopastoral system.

Thanks for opportunity!

Leonardo Henrique Ferreira Calsavara (MSc.student)

Subhash Mehta Devarao Shivaram Trust, India

Funding of Producer Company (PC) and integrated agriculture of each area, ensures the rural poor smallholder producer communities access to safe and nutritious food. My search began sixteen years ago when I moved to Rome. Looking out of the aircraft window, seeing the 'Isolated rural poor, out of sight out of mind', struggling to make two ends meet, whilst we have been putting all the burden on her/ his shoulders to feed us, the urban haves Globally. I exposed myself to the plight of the rural poor smallholder producers and the cause of the crisis facing them started to surface, the possible solutions and in the short term. S when I was exposed to the market oriented agriculture development, focusing on externally produced bio inputs for mono crops produced to meet the bulk needs of the chain stores, benefiting the input producers and the supply side. The fact was that on the ground in the developing countries the buyer was only picking up around 10% of the produce at the organic premium price, rejecting the balance on grounds of quality. An unfair organic agriculture trade practice ! I decided to adapt and apply my entrepreneurial, management (planning & budgeting) experience and expertise for the setting up by the rural farmers producer companies/ orgs (PC) but staffed by professionals ( general practitioners [Gps] / MBAs in agriculture, Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneshwar, India),, who have recently implemented this model and in one of the poorest parts of Odisha, India. This successful innovative management intervention model, takes over all responsibilities and manages the cash to cash cycle risks, other than on farm activities. In time to come the PC, given the required funding, would be in a position to create human and institutional capacity locally and deliver/ provide all services to their communities, as the Government's role is diminishing/ no longer in a position to deliver/ take the responsibilities covering education, health, rural development, the environment/ forests/ biodiversity, etc., if the developing countries want to improve the livelihoods of their rural poor. Before returning to India in 2000, I enrolled myself at the Institute Agriculture Mediteranian Bari (IAMB), in Pulia, Italy, end 1999, for an intensive course, 'Integrated (Organic) Agriculture, Inspection, Certification and Accreditation, enabling me to understand smallholder friendly syatems, enabling me to follow a path to serve the isolated rural poor smallholder producers, out of sight out of mind of the mainstream agriculture Policy, Governance, Plans & Budgets, NARES, the CGIAR/ GFAR, IFAD, World Bank/ Asian Development Bank, etc. Following integrated organic agriculture as applicable to the local soil and agro climatic conditions of each area has the potential to improve net income, purchasing power and livelihoods of the smallholder producer communities in the developing countries. I have since made interventions at National and Global conferences, focusing on and putting on the table the fact that 'Public Funds' be used for meeting the needs of the rural poor smallholder producer communities, thus ensure access of nutritious food to their communities and the urban poor at little or no cost, by minimizing the cost of production and post harvest losses, adding value locally to increase the shelf life of the produce, the result being reduction in hunger, malnutrition, poverty, effects of climate change and suicides. We need to ensure that 'Public Funds' are used primarily to improve rural livelihoods by contracting successful farmer enterprise in each area as models for wide replication of their low cost integrated agriculture among smallholder producers in their area, also for the season after AR4D required due to climate change, etc., thus ensuring an inclusive bottom up system on the ground to ensure the maximum impact and in the short term. The green revolution intensive conventional high cost high risk agriculture system is the cause of the agrarian crisis among the rural poor smallholder producers, with reducing net incomes each year, as they are dependent on nature, traders supplying high cost external inputs for advice, credit, prices being fixed after their produce reaches the market (mostly lower than cost of production) manipulated by the commodity boards, pushing them deep into debt resulting resulting in hunger, malnutrition, poverty and suicides. Further, the use of poor quality unsafe agro chemicals is harmful to their health, the insecticidal residues on the food they produce is many times higher than the GAP standards. The change to mono crops due to false promises and greed has resulted in the smallholder producers giving up the sustainable integrated agriculture knowledge of their fore fathers which ensured their access to nutritious food for their communities, thus putting the community to work in rural areas. The women and educated youth in rural areas need to be retrained as GP/ MBAs in agriculture, thus ensuring jobs for them. The other option is to move to the urban slums, taking jobs in lpoorly paid services or factories. Successful farmers in each area are adapting to climate change, season after season, in an effort to ensure that their farm production and net income increases, year after year. They need to be identified in each area and contracted for using their farm for visits and wide replication of their integrated agriculture model among the other producers in the area. The problem since the 'Green Revolution' has been that the Government policy for incentives/ subsidies has been for the high cost external inputs, including seed and these benefits accessed mostly by large farmers, not for the local integrated agriculture practices followed by smallholder producers, for which they get assistance for organic certification and against purchase of bio inputs, which are mostly of poor quality. What they should be assisted is for producing low cost inputs, including seed and on farm. Government needs to urgently put in place and fund 'producer oriented development policies' for meeting all the needs of the rural poor smallholder producers, from soil till the produce is converted to cash. They need to be supported fully to produce safe, quality, tasty and nutritious food and not just food as being mandated by NARES, encouraging nutrition to come from Industry as a supplement. Farmers need capacity building to optimise farm production, set up their PC, staff them with professionals, etc., in an effort increase their net income, year after year, and in the long term, but mainstream agriculture systems need to mandate this and work along with the smallholder producers not against them.


C'est pour essayer de répondre globalement et brièvement sur le sujet en question. En fait ce n'est pas parce qu'il n'ya pas de financement, mais ce dernier est mal-réparti, ou bien souvent il n'est pas donné à ceux qui en ont le plus besoin, surtout dans nos genres de pays sous développés comme le mien. On se cache derrière le "Parents Amis et Connaissance (PAC)" pour la distribution des vivres ou autre cash for work, ou toute autre activité susceptible d'aider les plus nécessiteux à s'en sortir; On peut aussi parler de la mal-gouvernance, car souvent d'intermédiaire en intermédiaire, au lieu par exemple qu'une famille puisse bénéficier de 2 sacs, ce qui va arriver au niveau du bénéficiaire direct, peut être de quelques mesures seulement, le reste étant détourné. De ce fait nous préconisons d'approcher les ONG et de travailler en étroite collaboration avec elles dans le but que les aides fournies puissent arriver aux bénéficiaires réels
Si on s'adresse aux gouvernements, cela a de soit qu'ils vont passer par leurs démembrements, et de fil en aiguille, c'est entre eux que les aides vont s'arrêter. On peut aussi dire que les pays riches ne veulent pas nous aider en réalité, sinon au lieu de noyer leur surplus alimentaire en cas de mévente, ils pourraient bien l'envoyer aux nécessiteux du tiers monde, afin de combattre la faim et la pauvreté, et la malnutrition, car cette dernière ne concerne pas que les enfants, ici chez nous, mais aussi le adultes. On meurt de faim dans nos campagnes.

José Luis Campos Hernandez Academia Nacional de Ciencias Forestales, Mexico

Los donantes deben de comprometerse a una donación con tiempos bien establecidos y no truncarlos para que se pueda desarrollar el proyecto hasta su final planeado y que pueda continuar en forma independiente, para esto también es indispensable que los gobiernos locales, nacionales y la sociedad civil que intervenga o se vea involucrada estén comprometidos en cumplir con la parte que les corresponde, siendo de vital importancia que se de seguimiento al proyecto para evitar desviaciones y que se rindan cuentas para saber si se cumplieron con las metas programadas. Ya que por lo general esto nunca se cumple y es la parte de mayor importancia en un plan programado. Los mecanismos de financiación deben ser muy simples, objetivos y con precisión, y sobretodo que se rindan cuentas, y también con un seguimiento preciso para evitar las desviaciones que normalmente se tiene en este tipo de apoyos y la vinculación que se debe tener entre el corto y largo plazo, se debe establecer claramente en la planeación que se haga, para evitar que se trate de justificar que no se tomo en cuenta y hay que replantear... eso únicamente indica que las personas que planearon no tienen la capacidad para hacerlo y son gentes vinculadas a las políticas locales y nacionales. Esto es parte de la siguiente pregunta, se considera que de inicio los mecanismos de financiación existentes son buenos, pero desafortunadamente siempre quedan en manos de políticos y de gentes de estos que no cumplen honestamente con su responsabilidad, por lo que se considera que debería pensarse en establecer un comité directivo(muy pocas gentes para no burocratizar en forma negativa), que sean especialistas en la materia y gentes de los proyectos para que también tengan responsabilidad mutua y así se eviten malos manejos. El último punto consideramos que el del ejemplo es el adecuado ya que en el desarrollo rural no debe de haber tiempos anuales o que se manejen como si fueran presupuestos de los gobiernos locales y/o nacionales, sino que estos deben de estar acordes con los tiempos de la planeación del proyecto desde su inicio hasta el final, para que nunca falte el apoyo económico en las diferentes etapas del mismo y se cumplan con los objetivos.

Otto Hieronymi Webster University, Switzerland

I am sending you a paper on The Economic and Humanitarian Aspects of Food Security that I presented at the 15th Annual Humanitarian Conference of Webster University in 2010. Best regards, Otto Hieronymi Dr. Otto Hieronymi Professor of International Relations Webster University, Geneva 15, route de Collex, CH-1293 Bellevue, Geneva, Switzerland