Rethinking Food Security in Humanitarian Response: Paper presented to the food security forum, Rome, April 16 - 18, 2008

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This paper serves as a background document to help frame discussion at the Food Security Forum in Rome, April 2008. It focuses on policy and institutional reform issues centered on the links between chronic and transitory crises. The first part of the paper provides an overview of trends and future challenges. The second considers effectiveness of the モhumanitarian systemヤ in addressing food insecurity and whether the current institutional set-up is fit for service. The third part examines links between モchronicヤ and モtransitoryヤ food insecurity, and whether current approaches to prevention and response appropriately bridge these two forms of vulnerability. A concluding section highlights key issues, raising questions on gaps in the humanitarian system's analytical capacity, its programmatic practices, and on food security policy more broadly.
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    Rethinking Food Security in Humanitarian Response Paper Presented to the Food Security Forum Rome, April 16–18, 2008 Daniel Maxwell, Patrick Webb, Jennifer Coates and James Wirth Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and Feinstein International Center This draft is intended for exclusive use by participants of the Rethinking Food Security in Humanitarian Response  International Forum (Rome, 16–18 April 2008). It should be neither circulated nor cited before 16 April 2008. J ONATHAN M ITCHELL Emergency Response Director CARE International G ERALD J.  AND D OROTHY R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy & Feinstein International Center J ANE C OCKING  Emergency Humanitarian Director Oxfam GB   Acknowledgments:  The authors are grateful to Lisa Walmsley of Development Initiatives, the Steering Committee reviewers, Peter Walker, and Nick Maunder for helpfully sharing current data, comments and suggestions. We would also like to thank Joyce Maxwell for assistance with editing and production of the final draft. The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the authors and do not represent the opinions of the sponsors. Any mistakes are solely those of the authors. Recommended Citation: Maxwell D, Webb P, Coates J, Wirth J. 2008.  Rethinking Food Security in Humanitarian  Response . Paper Presented to the Food Security Forum; April 16–18, Rome. 2  Table of Contents I NTRODUCTION .....................................................................................................................................6   P  ART 1.   O VERVIEW OF T ODAY ’ S F OOD I NSECURITY P ROBLEMS .....................................................8  Issues and Trends in Acute and Temporal Food Crises...................................................8 Chronic Food Insecurity................................................................................................14  New Challenges to Global and Local Food Insecurity..................................................16 Summary........................................................................................................................22 P  ART 2.   E FFECTIVENESS OF THE H UMANITARIAN S YSTEM IN  A DDRESSING F OOD I NSECURITY ..23  2.1. Views on Humanitarian Effectiveness: What Is the Problem?......................................23 Critiques of Humanitarian Action..................................................................................23 Specific Critiques...........................................................................................................24 Successes and Challenges..............................................................................................26 Summary........................................................................................................................27 2.2. Overview of Food Security Crises.................................................................................28 Causes............................................................................................................................28 Slow versus Rapid Onset...............................................................................................29 Small versus Large Scale...............................................................................................31 2.3. Innovations in Food Security Analysis..........................................................................31 Comparability for Impartiality in Response..................................................................32 Linking Analysis to Decision Making...........................................................................32 2.4 Overview of Food Security Interventions.......................................................................33 Constraints to Food Security Programming in Emergencies.........................................35 Passing the Baton...........................................................................................................38 A Focus on Agriculture? Government and Inter-governmental Action........................40 2.5. Food Security Architecture............................................................................................42 Coordination, Effectiveness, and Accountability..........................................................44 2.6. Change and Reform Processes.......................................................................................46 UN Reform Processes....................................................................................................46 Donor Reform Processes................................................................................................49 Agency Reform Processes.............................................................................................51 2.7. Effectiveness of the “System:” Some Issues Arising....................................................52 Improving Analysis........................................................................................................52 Improving the Allocation of Resources.........................................................................53 Effectiveness and Coordination: Has Reform Improved the “System?”.......................53 Institutional Learning and Chronic Food Insecurity......................................................54 P  ART 3:   L INKING R ESPONSES TO “C HRONIC ”  AND “T RANSITORY ”   F OOD I NSECURITY ................55  3.1. A Framework for Understanding the Linkages.............................................................55 Beyond the “Relief to Development” Continuum.........................................................55 Understanding Vulnerability and Risk...........................................................................58 Situating Food Security Programmatic Responses........................................................59 3.2. Social Protection............................................................................................................61 Overview........................................................................................................................61 Concepts and Definitions...............................................................................................61 Social Protection in Practice..........................................................................................63 The Role of the Humanitarian Community...................................................................67 i  3.3. Issues and Trends in Disaster Risk Reduction...............................................................69 Overview........................................................................................................................69 DRR Programs to Address Food Security.....................................................................69 Coordination of DRR Programs.....................................................................................73 Measuring Effectiveness of DRR Programs..................................................................75 3.4. Emergencies, Social Protection and Disaster Risk Reduction.......................................76 C ONCLUSIONS AND Q UESTIONS  A RISING FROM THE P  APER ..........................................................78   ii
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