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Aid organizations form a global Food Security Cluster

To ameliorate the coordination of food security during humanitarian crises, food security organizations and humanitarian aid NGOs have created the global Food Security Cluster (gFSC).  Led by the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), World Food Program (WFP) and the International Committee for the Red Cross, gFSC is intended to be “‘…a powerful tool to support coordination at all levels and maximize our food assistance efforts’ said WFP Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Amir Abdulla.”

The gFSC will drawn upon the expertise and resources of these major aid organizations and will function to support local aid response initiatives in places recently stricken or recovering from major food emergencies brought on by nature or conflict.  According to WebWire,

“From now on, country-level food security clusters and their members will be able to draw upon support in five crucial areas: tools and guidance on how to coordinate responses more effectively; filling gaps in human resources in acute emergency situations; capacity building and training to build the skills of food security stakeholders in countries so that they can coordinate more effectively; improved information and knowledge-management; and strengthened and better coordinated advocacy on food security responses in both countries affected by emergencies and at the global level.”

Initially, gFSC is providing guidance to handle food security issues in Haiti, Pakistan, Colombia, North Africa (for Egypt, Libya and Tunisia) and Eastern Africa.

Among the innovative tools offered by gFSC is a Seasonal and Hazards Calendar which was designed by the World Food Programme’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Branch to share information across the humanitarian aid community including “…the most authoritative information on major seasonal hazards like floods, droughts, cyclones and the prevalence of pests like locusts, alongside crop growing cycles and lean seasons” for 76 countries, with another 20 countries to be added soon.

The Calendar provides a visual illustration of information disseminated by the Humanitarian Early Warning Service (HEWS) and received its litmus test during WFP’s Haiti earthquake response.

Posted by Michael Lucivero.