Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

The way ahead

It is important when moving from the framework for action to action itself, that a clearly phased and properly sequenced approach be adopted, that mechanisms for securing the resources needed to accomplish the programme be set in place, and that the entire process be subject to careful monitoring, evaluation and review.


A participatory approach to programme formulation and implementation is time-consuming, but this is a necessary price for coherent policy and investment that has broad political and financial backing. Three main phases are envisaged:


A critical part of the strategy for the elimination of food insecurity in the Horn of Africa, is to secure a substantial increase in the resources allocated to the task, by both governments and the international community, and to ensure that such resources are better focused on the problem. Over the last two decades, there has been a distinct tendency for the external resources allocated to the countries in the region to be increasingly directed to emergency and relief activities, rather than long-term development. This has been a logical reaction to the recurrence of crises in which large numbers of people in the region have been threatened with famine and death. However, it also represents a degree of frustration on the part of the donor community with the intractability of achieving long-term solutions to the problems of the region.

Domestic resources

Governments in the region need to reassess their overall budget expenditures, with a view to allocating substantially greater amounts to programmes and projects that focus on eliminating famine and addressing food security problems. An important indicator of governments' commitment to eliminating famine and food insecurity would be the extent to which they have increased budget allocations to the area of food security.

International resources

Given the tight fiscal situation in most of the countries, and the many other calls on expenditure, it seems inevitable that a substantial proportion of the resources required to finance long-term development will have to come from international sources. Part may come from the reallocation of existing bilateral and multilateral commitments, as well as from the proceeds of debt relief. However, very substantial additional new commitments will be needed. In view of the magnitude of the problem, a special effort will be required to mobilize the necessary resources. This effort would need to be directed to the World Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the African Development Bank (ADB), the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the EU and bilateral donors, as well as the private sector, and would be crucial to the success of the CFSPs. In view of the procedures adopted by these institutions for the identification and formulation of projects, it is important that they make every effort to introduce food security as a priority area in their programming documents,8 where this is not already the case. The most likely entry point for project ideas would be at the project conception stage,9 either as full investment projects or through other financing mechanisms such as the World Bank's Adaptable Program Loans (APLs) and Learning and Innovation Loans (LILs). Several countries in the region would also be eligible for HIPC debt relief, and all would need to prepare a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) in order to qualify for concessional loan funding from the Bretton Wood Institutions (see Box 18).

The funding role of UN agencies would be through the prioritization of food security under the UNDAF. Some complementary funding might be available from GEF for activities that link integrated land management and sustainable livelihoods and produce regional and global environmental benefits.

The private sector, in the form of both international and domestic investors and philanthropists, has so far played little part in tackling the problem of food insecurity.

The failure to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) to the region has been a major flaw in the economic reform and restructuring of the countries of the region.10 Philanthropists' contributions have been made mainly through international and, to some extent, local NGOs. Efforts could be directed to attracting additional private support for credible CFSP proposals from international foundations and from the East African communities who are living and working in Europe and North America.

Cofinancing, collaboration and coordination

The joint commitment by governments, UN agencies, donors and NGOs to tackling famine and food insecurity makes it imperative that the partners work together closely in implementing the CFSPs. Cofinancing of specific projects by financing institutions should draw on the strengths of the different institutions in a complementary way, using soft loans and grants, with UN agencies supplying technical, supervisory or administrative support, in order to provide an added guarantee of success. If agencies are to collaborate effectively in funding an agreed programme aimed at eliminating food insecurity, they must, as far as possible, establish common implementation, financing and reporting arrangements.

BOX 18
HIPC debt relief

Since the Cologne meeting of G7 in 1998, at which a programme of debt relief for HIPCs was agreed, the Bretton Woods institutions have focused their assistance more clearly on the eradication of poverty. From now on, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will make their programmes of assistance to governments seeking HIPC debt relief and funding facilities (now called the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility -[PRGF]) conditional on the formulation of a PRS. A PRS Paper (PRSP) would comprise pro-poor and poverty reduction policies and programmes, and would include a pro-poor shift in the pattern of public expenditures, towards items that would have an impact on poverty.

The formulation of PRSs is at an early stage and, in the Horn of Africa, has been initiated in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. Experience to date has shown that there is an inherent bias in the PRS towards the provision of social infrastructure, if for no other reason than that this can be readily planned and monitored. However, programmes that address agricultural production and livelihood aspects are intrinsically more difficult to formulate, implement and monitor, and consequently tend to be neglected in the PRS formulation process. The formulation of Country Action Plans that address long-term food security could provide an invaluable complement to the PRS process and substantive content for the utilization of both HIPC debt relief funds and PRGF resources.


Following the in-country formulation of CFSPs and investment proposals, it is logical that the governments themselves assume responsibility for the monitoring of implementation. Once again, there would be full compatibility with the implementation of Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRS), in which a key element is the definition by governments of outputs that can be monitored and the creation of capacity to undertake the monitoring itself. Rigorous evaluation of CFSP implementation would be essential. After decades of effort with few results, it is important that this new programme is not allowed to slip into benign neglect. Since the CFSPs would be built on local initiatives and innovative design, independent and regular evaluation is essential in order to judge what is working and what has failed. Such evaluation could be contracted to a local university or consulting company, which would present its conclusions to the ACC Rural Development and Food Security Network as a forum for review. Progress in achieving the goals of the overall programme should be reported regularly to the Secretary-General through the lead Resident Coordinator's office in Ethiopia and the regular meetings of ACC. A first external, multidonor review of progress would need to be programmed to take place no more than three years after commencement of the RFSP.

8 For example, the World Bank's Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), IFAD's Country Strategy Opportunities Paper (COSOP) and ADB's Country Programme.

9For example, the World Bank's Project Concept Document (PCD).

10 Apart from Uganda, which has witnessed a major increase in FDI (reaching US$200 million in 1998), othercountries for which there are data show low levels of FDI and a decline over the period from 1990, including Ethiopia (from US$12 million to US$4 million) and Kenya (from US$57 million to US$11 million) (World Bank.World development report 2000).

Top Of PageTable Of ContentsNext Page