Policy Support and Governance Gateway
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Resilience in Protracted Crises

Protracted crises are contexts in which a significant proportion of the population is acutely vulnerable to hunger, disease and disruptions to livelihoods over prolonged periods. In these situations, undernourishment is severe, long-standing and almost three times more frequent than in other developing contexts. FAO currently identifies 22 countries with a protracted crisis situation. Of these, 16 were in this category in 2010, 13 of which are in Africa.

Strengthen livelihoods in in protracted crisis through policy guidance.

Almost all countries with a protracted crisis have experienced violent conflict over prolonged periods of time; in six such contexts, conflict has been ongoing for at least 18 of the last 20 years.

FAO provides policy guidance, builds partnerships, and supports in-country programmes to strengthen conflict-sensitive livelihoods and food systems in protracted crisis situations. These help support vulnerable communities and households, improving their food and nutrition status, whilst building resilience to future shocks and stressors.

Key policy messages

·         In 2019, some 135 million in 55 countries and territories were in need of urgent food, livelihood and nutrition assistance as a result of conflict, weather extremes, economic shocks, or a combination of all three drivers. This figure reflected not only worsening levels of acute food insecurity in many countries, but also the wider availability of food security data, including in previously inaccessible areas or in contexts that had previously yielded poor-quality data. (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above).

·        Conflict and insecurity, climate shocks and economic turbulence – the main drivers of food insecurity – continue to erode livelihoods and destroy lives. Conflict and insecurity remain the key driver: in 2019 nearly two-thirds of those facing acute hunger were in 21 countries and territories affected by conflict or insecurity. While we still lack systematic information from direct observation to come to fully quantify the impacts, there are multiple channels through which the COVID-19 pandemic and containment measures are affecting food security and nutrition.
The indirect socio-economic consequences of the battle to contain the spread of COVID‑19 are aggravating the tenuous and fragile food security and nutrition situation for millions worldwide.

·        The Global Network Against Food Crises offers a platform for the international community to coordinate concerted and coherent efforts towards preventing food and nutrition crises, mitigating their impacts, and boosting resilient and sustainable post crisis recovery and rehabilitation for transforming agriculture and food-systems.

·        Continue to address not only the immediate symptoms of food crises but also focus on their root causes, considering global regional and national dimensions of risks. Policies in protracted crises should look to the future through linkages across the humanitarian-development-peace (HDP) nexus to increase communities’, households’, food systems’ and ecosystems’ resilience.

·        Policies and actions must be informed with contextual understanding of complex dynamics and drivers of vulnerability such as conflict and insecurity, climate change, environmental degradation, and demographic change.

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