Issues Home About Contact Us Issue 21 - December 2020 عربى
International Developments

Food Policy amid Crises

Since 2009, HIC’s role on the Coordinating Committee of the Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism (CSM) for relations with the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) has been to ensure that the needs of urban food-insecure communities remain at the forefront of the CFS policy processes on these issues. (See HIC and the Urban Food Insecure Constituency in this issue.) Within that platform, HIC-HLRN also has continued to advocate for the food needs of affected communities in protracted conflicts and crises through active involvement since 2012. This year, HIC-HLRN Program Advisor Heather Elaydi has been contributed to three CSM Working Groups: Global Food Governance, Food Systems and Nutrition, and Monitoring of the Use and Application of the CFS Framework for Action for Food Security and Nutrition in Protracted Crises (FFA).


In October 2020, the CSM Global Food Governance Working Group launched its Global Synthesis Report on COVID-19, which describes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food and nutrition in communities from all of CSM’s 11 constituencies and sub-regions. HIC-HLRN contributed a section on the compounding impact of COVID-19 on food and nutrition in countries experiencing protracted crises, based on inputs received through the CSM Working Group on Monitoring work on the use and application of the FFA. While an excerpt of HLRN’s protracted crisis and COVID-19 contribution is published in the report, the full write-up can be found here.

Food Systems and Nutrition

With the negotiations on the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition now about to enter its second week of negotiations, expected to take place on 14–18 December 2020, HIC-HLRN continues to act as CSM focal point for input on the “Humanitarian Contexts” section of the draft, in particular, to ensure alignment with, and best use of the FFA and its principles in the new guidelines. The multi-region consultative process on the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition began in early 2019, coming to the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region in September that year. HLRN participated in that consultation, which took place at the World Health Organization (WHO) regional office in Cairo, along with other civil society actors from the NENA region and regional representatives from UN member states. A key point raised during that consultation, and stressed consistently by HLRN, was the immense impact of conflict and crisis on food and nutrition for people in the NENA region. HLRN was then invited to Rome in November 2019 to participate through CSM in bilateral meetings and a CFS Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) meeting on the process. Advocacy from the NENA region group, both in Cairo and in Rome, led directly to the inclusion of a dedicated section on Humanitarian Contexts in the draft guidelines currently under negotiation. The most recent documents in the ongoing negotiations can be found here.

Monitoring the Use and Implementation of the FFA

Following a year-long process of consultation with civil society living in contexts of protracted conflict and crisis, including one in-person and one virtual consultation, a 4-month-long survey developed by the special CSM Working Group on Monitoring of the Framework for Action for Food Security and Nutrition in Protracted Crisis (FFA), and significant outreach done by the co-facilitators of the working group, HIC-HLRN’s Heather Elaydi and FIAN’s Ayushi Kalyan, who have prepared a draft report based on the numerous inputs received. The draft has been shared with the wider Working Group on Monitoring and is now mid-way through a revision process based on comments received by group members. The report is expected to form the basis of CSM’s contribution to the Global Thematic Event on Monitoring the FFA, to be held virtually during the 47th CFS plenary session on 8–12 February 2021.

Image: Cover of the CSM Global Synthesis Report Voices from the Ground: From COVID-19 to Radical Transformation of Our Food Systems.

Download the full report here.


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