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Joint Statement FAO, WFP and UNICEF on Resilience Collaboration

The three agencies confirmed their commitment to play a key role for mobilizing change through resilience building in the region.

Nairobi – FAO, WFP and UNICEF share the goal of strengthening resilience of the most vulnerable in Eastern and Central Africa. The three agencies confirmed their commitment to play a key role for mobilizing change through resilience building in the region. The agencies made the pledge during a two-day workshop in Nairobi, Kenya. 

The joint statement is a new step in a process that started after the 2011 drought crisis in the Horn of Africa, when donors, governments and UN agencies pledged to work differently. Following the Heads of States Summit in September 2011, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) received the mandate to coordinate national and regional strategies to end drought emergencies. As a consequence, the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI) was launched to bring together Member States, UN agencies and Non-State Actors in order to improve coordination, coherence and alignment as well as to leverage multi-year and multi-sector investments that bridge the divide between humanitarian and development interventions.

UN agencies decided to collaborate further to maximize their efficiency and impact. WFP and FAO implemented the Joint Road Map (JRM) in the region, while joint resilience strategies between FAO, WFP and UNICEF in Somalia, Uganda and Ethiopia were rolled out. An MoU on Disaster Risk Reduction was also signed among the United Nations (Rome-based) agencies in Kenya. As a result, the three agencies have been engaging in joint consultations at regional and country level to reflect on and identify current and potential programme practices, opportunities, challenges, partnership arrangements and other operational aspects to enhance resilience programming. A joint workshop was organized on 29 & 30 October 2013 in Nairobi to establish a common understanding on the way forward among FAO, UNICEF and WFP in Eastern and Central Africa.

During the event, WFP, FAO and UNICEF agreed that resilience programming requires long-term commitment, comprehensive approaches and multi-sectoral partnerships to benefit from the specific niche of each partner. The three agencies agreed on a Joint Agenda for Action to strengthen resilience of vulnerable communities and households. Key objectives of the plan are to:

-          Establish or build on common strategies at country level which ensure complementary approaches, and provide support to enable countries to undertake and engage in resilience programming;

-          Improve information, analysis, monitoring and evaluation of risks, vulnerabilities and resilience capacities of at-high risk communities;  

-          Set up joint advocacy outreach, based on field evidence, to influence governance systems, donor policies, and regional institutions;

-          Promote innovation and use of emerging programmes approaches and technologies.

Donors have already recognized the importance of resilience building and have signaled their commitment towards multiyear funding and looking into new funding mechanisms to better bridge between humanitarian and development aid. With the joint action plan UNICEF, FAO and WFP demonstrate their active support towards this goal.