Mothers First Submission to the HLPE-FSN consultation on the V0 draft of the report 

Date 17th January 2023

Author: Pat Mc Mahon, Founding director and head of advocacy Mothers First

Web site; Contact [email protected]; @1worldnutrition

Overview of submission: 

This submission centres around acute hunger and is focused on the 1.9 billion people in fragile settings, which accounts for 74% of extreme poverty. Over 350 million people live in poverty so extreme that they have Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) phase 3 and above. The names tell the story very well. 

Crisis  IPC Phase 3

Emergency  IPC Phase 4

Catastrophic  IPC Phase 5 

For those of us who have seen extreme hunger, the hunger that kills every day will have no doubt that these women, children and men are the furthest behind people in our world. The Secretary-General and the entire United Nations System repeatedly tell of the unfolding humanitarian emergencies, yet that narrative is not getting through in any tangible way. 

This current draft paper under review highlights this very well, with the Sub Chapter in Chapter 2 of the report on fragility still needing to be written. Given that people in fragile settings represent almost 25% of the world's population, fragile settings have only been mentioned eight times in the report. 

The central reason for this is that the SOFI Report, which is the anchor point of both the CFS and this consultation, is mandated to look at chronic hunger. It is undoubtedly welcomed that SOFI 2022 clearly outlined this recommending the Global Report on Food Crisis as the corresponding report that deals with acute hunger. 

By the very nature of our individual needs for sustenance, the vulnerabilities within the spectrum of food security are compounded directly by the severity of the food insecurity we find ourselves in. Given the number of people living in fragile settings who are experiencing crisis to Catastrophic levels of food security, we strongly advocate for the need for acute food insecurity to be integrated in all seven chapters of the report. 

Submission format 

This submission is organised into seven chapters. The first chapter seeks to disentangle key components of the acute food security crisis by transcribing three pages from the Global Humanitarian Overview 2023 entitled Hundreds of millions of people face hunger as a historic food crisis looms. The preceding six chapters examine different dimensions of the 2023 overview. We will look at the practical interpretation of the food insecurity rating and the impact acute food security has on mortality and nutrition status. We will look at finance through the equity lens of the right to food and the chronic underfunding of Humanitarian Response Plans. 

We will also consider the equitable inclusion of all groups affected by food security within this draft report and the CFS Frameworks.  We will take a more in-depth look at the numbers and the genuine possibility of 2023 being a year where food security goes from an issue of distribution to one of overall availability. 

The paper will conclude with four key recommendations for this consultation. These recommendations will be framed within the overall framework of the CFS.

The world faces the possibility of a paradigm change from food as a distribution issue to a supply issue. Early reports from countries on cereal production in India, Argentina and Brazil are down. We hope this submission will help calibrate how acute hunger aligns with the CFS thematic workstream in inequalities.

Including equity and acute hunger in a meaningful way would show considerable leadership and prowess to help bring together the humanitarian Development divide and move forward the aspiration that so many of us hope of the Grand Bargain in 2016.

This submission extensively references four key UN Documents which specifically deal with acute hunger.

  • Global Report on Food Crisis

  • Global Humanitarian Overview 2023

  • The Hunger Hotspot Report (October to Jan 2022/2023 edition 

Hunger Hotspots - FAO-WFP early warnings on acute food insecurity │October 2022 to January 2023 Outlook

  • Summary of CFS/ UN General Assembly high-level special event 18th July 2022

Please find the submission attached.