Sunday, September 30, 2012

Govt joins FAO, WFP to train food security experts

An Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) training and analysis workshop was organised jointly by the Government of Pakistan, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), to train a pool of Certified Food Security Analysts at national level and come up with the first IPC map reflecting the current food security situation in Pakistan.

Around 50 food security experts were trained on analysis using IPC approach. The training was be followed by an intensive workshop where the participants worked together in analysing the available information to develop a draft food security phase map of Pakistan.

Participants included the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), UN agencies, national and international NGOs, research organizations and academia.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Director Dr. Baseer Achakzai in his remarks highlighted the role and importance of IPC in the Pakistani context. He expressed that outputs from IPC could provide important basis for the decision-makers to make evidence based policies and programmes.

Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R) Secretary Ahmad Bux Lehri said the IPC platform is a key tool in identifying the grey areas including deforestation, malnutrition, emergencies and other prevailing issues in food security sector in the country. He also shared his experience from recently held IPC workshop in Nepal where IPC has been implemented successfully for providing reliable periodic food security updates during the past five years.

WFP Country Director Jean-Luc Siblot said that WFP is pleased to be a part of the IPC process and expressed his confidence that the IPC results based on consensus by different stakeholders could be important input to a national food security monitoring system and stressed the need to translate the findings from IPC and other food security analyses into appropriate policies and programmes to address food insecurity in the country.

FAO Senior Emergency and Rehabilitation Coordinator Rajendra Aryal termed this workshop as a great opportunity to have food security and nutrition experts from different parts of the country working together and coming to consensus under one roof.

Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) Executive Director Dr. Abid Suleri shared the indicators of the IPC analysis for Pakistan. He noted that the key purpose of IPC analysis is to prepare comparable, consistent, and verifiable data to provide actionable knowledge and information. He further said that these indicators focus on some key sectors such as availability of, access to and, utilization of food; nutrition, vulnerability, migration and coping strategies.

Krishna Pahari, Head of VAM Unit WFP, highlighted the fact that IPC provides a platform and process to analyse and present the food security situation in a country. The IPC does not replace the need of existing food security assessments conducted by various agencies but instead utilizes findings from such studies and comes up with consolidated food security phase maps. More