Building long-term resilience of vulnerable population requires better integration and, where appropriate, sustained levels of official development assistance to address the structural causes of hunger and to reduce needs over time. For the best food security outcomes, international humanitarian assistance and official development assistance should go hand in hand. A ‘nexus approach’ in food crisis contexts can therefore help ensuring that both kinds of aid are appropriately layered and sequenced, with the humanitarian assistance focused on tackling rising levels of hunger and malnutrition, and the official development assistance focused on addressing the underlying drivers of food insecurity.


Stronger coordination and evidence-based advocacy are needed to support a more equitable and needs-based allocation of external financing to food crises, including more attention to the so-called forgotten food crises.


Structural changes are necessary to the way external financing is distributed and food crises are handled, so that humanitarian assistance can be reduced over time through longer-term development investments to have the widest possible impact on food security. External financing is most effective when it goes hand in hand with a policy environment to ensure both allocations and investments have the widest possible impact on short- and long-term food security – which is not always the case for most of the countries that experience protracted food crises. 


Conflict and insecurity are major drivers behind acute food insecurity, often aggravated by the growing impact of climate change, as well as other impacts from socio-economic shocks. Therefore, food related development investments in these countries are both necessary and smart. As such, there is need for better integration of conflict and climate analysis to inform programme design, the insertion of crisis modifiers in programme cycles, and an increased flexibility and stability of such funding. This implies to move beyond a “food only” dimension to include actors and initiatives outside the food sector. On the other hand, food crises mainly characterized by climate extreme and slow onset events, should have a stronger focus on disaster risk reduction and management, climate change adaptation, and disaster and climate risk interventions. These may include early warning mechanisms, anticipatory actions, risk-informed and shock responsive social protection, and other interventions that support governments and ongoing domestic efforts.


All in all, further efforts need to be made not only to ensure that the level of financing meets growing needs but that it is the right kind of financing, delivered in the right place at the right time. Addressing the structural problems of food systems in ways that will reduce humanitarian needs over time will require coordinated financing along a continuum between humanitarian and development. That way, development investments can, wherever possible, address these issues and, ultimately, have the widest possible impact on long-term food security. This will require involving development actors earlier and more intensely in protracted crises, strengthening nexus approaches, and ensuring that the aid architecture to address food crises is ‘fit for purpose’ model. 




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