RNE region contains some of the world's most food insecure countries: e.g. Somalia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq, and Palestine.
The overall aim of RNE Food Systems Economics (FSE) unit is that of assisting member countries in the Near East and North Africa build national capacity in food security information needed for the formulation of more effective policies and intervention programmes for reducing hunger and food insecurity in accordance with the guidance given by the World Food Summit's Rome Declaration and Plan of Action, aiming at sustainable food security and agricultural growth. A major overall focus the unit's activity is to ensure a food security focus in all regional and country level activities of the Organization.
Through the Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System (FIVIMS), the FSE unit identifies and characterizes population groups vulnerable to food insecurity, designs and manages national and regional food security information systems, formulates national disaster and drought preparedness plans, and estimates optimum national food security stocks and management procedures.
In collaboration with other relevant FAO units and other agencies, the FSE unit also participates in the analysis of food security and food aid programmes/policies for the Member countries in the region and in the assessment of the regional and country level food security situation.
Highlights of FSE activities in the region include:
Support to the establishment of a national FIVIMS programme in Yemen: this project aims at building up a baseline information system on the number of the food insecure in the country, their location, and the reasons for their food insecurity. Information is being collected through an ongoing Agricultural Census - which includes a food security model.
Support to the establishment of a national FIVIMS programme in Syria, this soon-to-start project is similar the one in Yemen. The project will be implemented with ICARDA;
Support to the food security analysis and understanding of the livelihood in Somalia: this project, currently in its 3rd Phase, provides an in-depth analysis on short and longer term food insecurity, bringing to light the causes of chronic livelihood insecurity and advocating change, It also provides timely, reliable and relevant early warning and information on food insecurity with regard to short-term emergency interventions;
Capacity building national workshop on improving national food security information in Turkey;
Assist the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran (GOI) put together a national strategy and action plan on drought preparedness and mitigation
Support for the improvement of food security, nutrition and livelihoods in Afghanistan including assistance on agriculture forecasting and monitoring information.