Somalia: The road to resilience is paved with good governance

In Somalia, up to 931,000 people remain in crisis and 22,000 more in emergency. In total 4.7 million people, 38 percent of the population, are acutely food insecure and struggling to meet their minimum daily food needs. Households belonging to this group remain highly vulnerable to major shocks, such as drought or floods, which could easily push them back into food security crisis. Linking information on resilience, food security and nutrition to policies and programs is key for decision making. Insecurity and conflict continue to contribute to poor household food security and high malnutrition rates, with communities recovering from many seasons of failed rain and subsequent drought. As the situation is fragile, any gains made to food security and nutrition could be lost without continued good governance.

For the first time, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Somalia is providing technical support to both Federal and State Officials, as well as universities, in the form of quality access to data and information to conduct resilience analysis on a national level. INFORMED (Information for Nutrition, Food Security and Resilience for Decision Making) is a global program coordinated by FAO’s Agricultural Development Economics Division (ESA), funded by the European Union and implemented in Somalia by FAO’s Resilience Team for Eastern Africa (RTEA) and its Somalia Office, aiming to increase the resilience of Somali people and reduce food insecurity and malnutrition.

The Federal Government of Somalia, as part of its upcoming National Development Plan, is developing a resilience strategy to help mitigate these effects on the poor. “Resilience is crucial for Somalia. Understanding how resilience programs will impact communities on the ground is important. This training will enable us to measure the impact of the interventions and guide us on how to improve, said Abdi Ahmed Mohamed, the Resilience Focal Point in the Office of the Prime Minister, speaking at the first phase of training workshops held in the federal capital of Mogadishu. “The partnership between the Government of Somalia and FAO is key in achieving our goals of building resilience in the future; we’re counting on this partnership to continue to grow for the benefit of our people,” he added.

FAO Somalia launched the first of three workshops in Mogadishu designed to build the capacity of government institutions to carry out their own analysis on resilience and food insecurity. Resilience assessment and monitoring the impact of interventions and policies provides critical information on how to concentrate limited resources for better results. This is to be achieved by improving the availability of regular, timely information as well as evidence-based analysis on food security, nutrition and resilience by implementing the Resilience Index Measurement and Analysis pioneered and developed by FAO. Amin Malik, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for FAO Somalia and Co-trainer of the workshop said,

“The result of this program will be more informed and better decision making across all levels of government to build resilience and protect the livelihoods of Somali people.”

This article was originally published in the Relief Word

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