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Regional themes > Food security Last update: 2020-11-27  

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"Maintaining the Momentum" - Summary Note of the Regional Consultation on Humanitarian Assistance Needs in Southern Africa

8. Key Recommendations of the Meeting:
  1. Governments and SADC need to continue their work in developing and implementing comprehensive policies for market reform that will facilitate broad access of food for consumers at the same time as stimulating the agricultural sector. Regional policies for cross-border trade of food and agricultural inputs and infrastructure development will also help to improve the capacity of the region to respond to localized food shortages.

  2. Given the likelihood of sufficient production in the southern Africa region this year, an effort should be made to procure food aid locally or regionally where possible rather than importing in order to avoid distortion in local markets and encourage local production.

  3. Seeds and other agricultural inputs need to be procured and distributed to vulnerable households immediately in order to maximize production in the coming agricultural season. Longer term investment in agriculture aimed at facilitating policy reforms, strengthening government extension services, and introducing new techniques and technologies suited for HIV/AIDS impacted areas are an absolute and immediate priority.

  4. Segments of the population, including adolescent girls and women who are disproportionately impacted by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, should be targeted with sustained safety net programmes and other community based strategies that will offer them a package of services such as health care, education, food, and sources of income.

  5. Targeting and monitoring/evaluation mechanisms need to be improved and new programming approaches developed to better address the special needs of orphans and other vulnerable children.

  6. Mechanisms for joint action at the country level and coordination and information sharing at the regional level should continue, as they have proven effective tools for ensuring that assistance programmes are complementary and efficient in meeting the needs of people at the community level.

  7. Capacity replenishment strategies need to begin now, and they should look first to regional capacities (such as new graduates) to support key functions and services in Governments across the region.

  8. Lessons learned from food assistance and nutritional interventions can provide important feedback to agencies on the efficacy of targeting and help to outline the way forward especially in nutrition and HIV/AIDS programming.

  9. The nutritional surveillance network across the SADC region needs to be strengthened. New assessment methodologies for examining adult malnutrition are necessary. SADC's ongoing work on the nutritional value of local foods should be encouraged in the context of the strong need for interventions that mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS.

  10. More work needs to be done to quantify the impact of HIV/AIDS on households and on institutional capacity and to better understand the dynamics between HIV/AIDS, food security and governance. HIV/AIDS needs to be mainstreamed into emergency assistance, and longer-term approaches need to develop community safety net and treatment strategies for PLHA.

  11. NGOs should continue to be an integral part of the response to the crisis in the region.

  12. Contingency planning has been shown to be effective in improving community resilience to external shocks. Governments and partners should implement emergency preparedness planning processes at the community level in areas of high vulnerability.

  13. Sex and gender needs to be included and disaggregated in all the surveys conducted such as Vulnerability Assessments and nutrition surveys. Efforts to mainstream Gender throughout all programming in the region need to be renewed.

  14. The provision of drugs for sexually transmitted diseases needs to be a priority. Men should become more actively involved in the fight against sexual and gender-based violence, and in the spread of HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, condoms should continue to be distributed throughout the region, for dual protection (against infections and unwanted pregnancies).

  15. To facilitate effective information sharing and joint action, thematic meetings should be organized regularly at the regional level to discuss issues such as the effects of HIV/AIDS on orphans.

  16. Private sector partnerships will be essential in addressing the long-term problems of food insecurity in the region. These relationships should be increasingly initiated and strengthened.
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