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At the ACC meeting held in Rome on 6 and 7 April 2000, the UN Secretary-General announced the establishment of an Inter-Agency Task Force on the UN Response to Long-Term Food Security, Agricultural Development and Related Aspects in the Horn of Africa (see Appendix, Terms of Reference). The Task Force was to consist of senior representatives of ten ACC member agencies,1 with the Director-General of FAO as Chairman. Each agency nominated a focal point for the Task Force and the Director-General of FAO appointed his Assistant Director-General for Technical Cooperation as FAO's focal point

In its role in leading the Task Force, FAO immediately set about creating a Core Team to carry out the task assigned, and a Steering Committee to oversee the work. Contacts were quickly established with all the ACC members of the Task Force and an outline of the way in which their contributions would fit into the overall exercise was circulated. Each of FAO's partner agencies submitted formal contributions, outlining their own particular perspective on the long-term problems of food insecurity in the Horn of Africa

A two-day workshop, held at FAO in Rome in June, enabled all Task Force members to take part in intensive discussions on the challenges of long-term food security in the region. The Interim Report was submitted to a meeting of the ACC in Geneva on 29 June and the comments that emerged were taken into account when preparing the draft Final Report

Following the submission of the Interim Report, a series of country consultations were conducted by missions representing the Task Force and led by FAO. In each country, the Resident Coordinator and UN Country Team participated actively in the discussions with government and the deliberations of the Task Force missions. The culmination of these consultations was a workshop, held at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa on 7 and 8 August, at which the Resident Coordinator for Ethiopia, the Ethiopia UN Country Team, representatives of donors and NGOs as well as the Government of Ethiopia discussed the causes of food insecurity and the way ahead for the work of the Task Force

The purpose of this report is to outline the broad scope of the UN response to the challenge of eliminating food insecurity in the form of a Strategy and Framework for Action. It also sets out ways of moving from the framework into action itself. Every effort has been made to ensure that the strategy builds upon and is in line with governments' own strategies for food security but, in the time available, this could not be pursued with the degree of consultation that will ultimately be needed. Full ownership of the strategy and commitment by the governments of the region to its implementation will be sealed after this report has been submitted and Heads of State commit themselves, as proposed in the report, to eliminating famine and food insecurity


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