Photo: ©Rachele Santini
The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC)
Timely analysis of food insecurity can allow countries to take prompt action and identify priorities for investment to avoid a severe crisis and ultimately save millions of lives. A recently approved three year grant of GBP 1.7 million from DfID will contribute to the roll out of field activities of IPC, an innovative tool for improving food security analysis and decision-making. The IPC is a standardized scale that integrates food security, nutrition and livelihood information into a clear statement about the nature and severity of acute and chronic food insecurity and implications for strategic response. Its cartographic protocols make it an efficient communication tool for decision-makers, resource partners, agencies and governments.
The IPC was introduced for the first time in Somalia in 2004 to improve and standardize food security information and communication so to enable intra and inter-agency information sharing and corroboration. Kenya was the first country to adopt the IPC analysis in 2007 outside of Somalia. In January 2009, the Government of Kenya used the IPC analysis report to declare a drought-instigated food insecurity crisis to a national disaster and appealed for international aid of about USD 400 million. The government subsequently adopted a raft of measures aimed at countering the effects of food shortages. Part of the arrangements made included import of maize at an estimated cost of USD 213 million to be sold in the market to lower and stabilize food prices. In May 2011, the IPC analysis was again applied to declare persistent drought to a national disaster. The population classified under emergency had increased from 2.4 million to 3.7 million according to IPC analysis report. Such swift Government-led intervention ensured that a full-blown crisis was averted and wide-scale famine was prevented. Currently , the Kenyan government with the support of key international and national experts has fully taken the lead in conducting the IPC analysis at country level through a clear understanding and ownership of the tool.
The IPC is a multi agency global initiative led by seven agencies: WFP, EC-JRC, FEWSNET, Oxfam GB,CAREInternational, Save the Children (UK and US) and FAO. At present, the IPC is also supported through a four-year grant from the EC, within the framework of the wider programme “Improved global governance for hunger reduction”. The IPC is currently at varying stages of implementation in roughly thirty countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
For more information: http://www.ipcinfo.org/