Humanitarian Exchange articles tagged:Food

Trade has been the lifeblood of the economy of the greater Darfur region for centuries. This includes longdistance trade between Darfur and neighbouring countries and central Sudan in commodities such as livestock, gum arabic and cereals. It also includes trade within Darfur, often between livelihood groups whose livelihood strategies depend upon one another, for example trade between agriculturalists and pastoralists. Indeed, prior to the start of the current conflict in 2003 markets in Darfur were a key point of connection for Darfurians and for many others who did business within these markets, and an important factor in building social ties.…
While recent years have seen a shift towards alternative food assistance instruments in emergency and transition situations, hard evidence on their performance is limited. To help fill this gap, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and in collaboration with researchers from the University of Juba, South Sudan, conducted a comparative study on the efficiency, effectiveness and impact of food for work (FFW) and cash for work (CFW) interventions. Analysis of the data reveals that, irrespective of differences in livelihoods among the respondents, CFW performs better than…
In recent decades the drylands of the Horn of Africa have become one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world. Drought in particular affects more people, more frequently than any other disaster. Drought periods were not always so disastrous but, combined with the region’s underlying economic, social and environmental vulnerability, the impacts upon dryland inhabitants are extreme. Despite calls for greater investment in preparedness, early response and long-term resiliencebuilding, the 2011 drought crisis in the region illustrates how this has not yet been translated into reality. It is an intuitive belief that investment in early response and resilience-building in…
This article summarises the findings of a recent monitoring report on an emergency cash-based intervention in South Central Somalia. In what is thought to be the largest cash programme to be implemented by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), 14 NGOs (six international and eight local partners) distributed $50.6 million-worth of cash and commodity vouchers to 136,673 households affected by the famine of 2011. Approximately half the beneficiaries were located in parts of the country controlled by the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), and half were in areas controlled by the Islamist group Al Shabaab (AS). The monitoring exercise was undertaken by the Somalia…
Cash for work and cash transfers have been used increasingly since 2005 to try to reduce chronic vulnerability in Niger. They have been used as part of humanitarian relief as well as disaster risk reduction (DRR) programmes. This article examines how one organisation, Jeunesse En Mission Entraide et Développement (JEMED), has sought to integrate cash for work, sales of food and fodder at a reduced price and long-term development activities, including land regeneration, into a single programme in Abalak, northern Niger, and the impact of this integrated approach on the resilience of pastoralists. In addressing chronic vulnerability, traditional humanitarian relief…
Poor harvests in 2011, and then armed conflict and violence: people in northern Mali have been hit doubly hard. They are no longer able to meet their basic food needs. The majority of rural households owe their livelihood to farming and livestock activities. They have not had time to recover from the effects of drought, which has reduced their food security in recent years, and they are now suffering from the negative effects of conflict as well. Food is scarce and expensive and people have no income to buy what they need. Their resilience capacity has been severely depleted by…
In the wake of drought in West Africa’s Sahel region, a bleak narrative of an estimated 18.7 million people on the brink of potential catastrophic food crisis has captured media attention. There has been a constant drumbeat of calls from many agencies for more humanitarian funding. Agricultural production in the Sahel fell due to late and irregular rains and prolonged dry spells in 2011. Drought also caused a significant fodder deficit in the pastoral areas of the Sahel. The Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA) meeting of 12–13 April confirmed that Sahel cereal production in 2011 was 26% lower than in…
Drought situation improved. Good harvest anticipated in main agricultural areas of Western, Rift Valley and Central Regions. Wholesale prices for maize and beans have eased considerably and in mid-August the Government announced a suspension of the commercial imports of wheat and maize. Districts in the southern part of Eastern Province and the arid areas in the north require continued food assistance. The total number of refugees in Kenya currently stands at 275,000 - mostly from Somalia but some from Ethiopia.
Action contre la Faim (ACF) has been implementing cash-based interventions since the late 1990s. ACF’s main focus is the treatment and prevention of acute malnutrition, and it has used cash-based responses to pursue this objective, including using vouchers to increase access to fresh foods (vegetables, fruit, eggs, meat, milk and fish). Fresh food vouchers (FFV) have provided households with complete food baskets, or have been used to supplement staple foods with fresh micronutrient-rich foods. FFV programmes also support local markets and traders. Fresh food vouchers can be used in slow-onset as well as acute crises to provide short- or longer-term…
The scale and scope of the humanitarian crisis in South Central Somalia challenges the humanitarian system’s capacity to deliver assistance. More than two decades of conflict, combined with cyclical, slow- and fast-onset disasters, have displaced millions of Somalis. In the absence of a central government, the few basic services available are mostly provided by humanitarian aid organisations (mainly through local staff and partners) and food crises are recurrent. Many of the lessons from this crisis can also be applied to other complex emergencies where the humanitarian response capacity has been overstretched, and where security and access constraints make it difficult…
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