Humanitarian Exchange articles tagged:Livelihoods

In July 2011 an international border was created between Sudan and the new state of South Sudan. This new border cuts through a socially and economically active region and some of the most fertile land in Sudan. The adjacent area is home to more than 25% (12 million) of the combined total population of Sudan and South Sudan. It is in every sense a pastoralist border. It runs through grazing lands containing important migration routes, especially for northern pastoralist groups, enabling them to access dry season pastures in the south for up to five months of the year. The border…
Livelihoods in South Sudan are based on transhumant animal husbandry, agriculture, fishing, trade and gathering wild food, with various combinations of these elements making up specific household economies depending on each zone’s agro-ecological conditions and tribal traditions and culture. Livelihood systems were first mapped out by Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) in the mid-1990s. Using the Household Economy Analysis (HEA) framework, seven distinct zones were identified (Figure 1). These zones are still used in livelihoods planning and analysis today. Livelihood systems in these zones have undergone drastic changes during the prolonged civil war (1983–2005) and in the period of post-conflict transition…
Independence was a milestone in the history of South Sudan, raising hopes for long-lasting peace and stability, development and economic growth. Well into the second year of independence, the challenges remain enormous and there are regular setbacks. One key question has been how we can continue to respond to emergencies without losing sight of longer-term development needs. This article elaborates on some of the key socio-economic challenges in South Sudan, with a particular focus on food insecurity. Food aid constitutes the bulk of the international community’s humanitarian response in South Sudan, with 2.7 million people receiving food assistance in 2012.…
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…
Koenraad Van Brabant in conversation with Hakim N. Feerasta, Resident Representative, the Aga Khan Development Network, Tajikistan Koenraad Van Brabant The Aga Khan is recognised as the spiritual head (imam) of the Ismaeli community, and the majority of Ismaelis in Tajikistan live in the eastern region of Gorno-Badakshan. Are you working specifically with the Ismaelis? Hakim N. Feerasta Well, there are an estimated 25m Ismaelis all over the world. Tajikistan is one of the countries where Ismaelis live. But the Aga Khan Development Network is a secular organisation; it does not work only for the Ismaeli community. We operate within…
From Iran to western China, Central Asia is suffering its worst drought in decades. One of the states hardest-hit has been Afghanistan; poor and conflict-ridden, it is also the least able to cope Afghanistan is in its third year of severe drought, compounding the effects of conflict and international isolation. Precarious security conditions and problems of access make needs difficult to assess, but it is clear that the food crisis in much of the country has become acute. Millions of Afghans have little or no access to food, and require international humanitarian food aid. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands more have been forced from their homes, congregating in camps in Afghanistan or across…
Over the last decade, there has been an increased focus on corruption in emergency assistance. In recent studies, food aid has been identified as one of the most vulnerable sectors, along with cash programming and post-disaster reconstruction.[1] In the 2011 drought response in Kenya, Transparency International Kenya (TI Kenya) launched a study examining the integrity, transparency and accountability of food assistance.[2] The main question explored was the extent to which different types of food assistance instruments (in-kind aid, cash and vouchers) posed different risks, and the standards different assistance actors applied to ensure the integrity of these mechanisms, including the…
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…
Moyale District in northern Kenya is a sparsely populated area. Livestock account for 70% of household income, and 67% of the population live below the poverty line. Droughts have eroded household assets and further reduced the coping mechanisms available to the pastoralist residents of Moyale. Yet a recent survey revealed that severe acute and global acute malnutrition rates in Moyale are much lower than in the neighbouring areas of Marsabit and north-west Wajir, where similar conditions prevail. Why has Moyale fared better? This article argues that Concern’s approach to working in the district was key to improving both malnutrition rates…
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation in Iraq created a ‘Women and War’ advisor position in 2008, responsible for assessing and integrating women’s needs into ICRC programmes. Although no confirmed figures exist, there are estimates of over a million women-headed households (WHHs) in Iraq. Despite limitations on access imposed by insecurity, it was possible to meet Iraqi women from all walks of life in Jordan and in more secure areas in Iraq, to discuss the problems affecting them. Based on these initial consultations and working with contacts provided by local NGOs, the ICRC organised a field survey…
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