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The majority of people affected by conflict and protracted crises rely on crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry for their livelihoods. Conflict and violence interrupt food production and agriculture, deplete food stocks and seed reserves, disrupt markets, deepen hunger and exacerbate malnutrition. Strengthening resilience for food security and nutrition is a priority for the most vulnerable people, particularly in the most at-risk and disaster-prone parts of the world.

WFP, FAO, and IFAD—the three United Nations Rome-based Agencies (RBAs)—are implementing an innovative, five-year programme to promote food security and strengthen resilience against shocks and stressors in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger and Somalia. This joint programme bridges humanitarian and development objectives through a complementary approach that focuses specifically on vulnerable women and children.

Funded by a contribution of CAD 50 million (US$ 38 million) from the Government of Canada, the programme aims to meet immediate food needs while sustainably increasing food security and strengthening the resilience of food-insecure households in regions affected by protracted and recurrent crises.

This programme represents the unique commitment of the Government of Canada to address humanitarian needs in protracted crises. While the RBAs collaborate closely in many countries, this is the first time that they have received joint multi-year funding for resilience-building work. The impact of this Initiative will help inform Canada’s approach to humanitarian food assistance in the future.

Based on the RBAs’ Joint Conceptual Framework for strengthening resilience for food security and nutrition, the programme represents an unprecedented effort to support and invest in the same vulnerable communities over a five-year period through integrated, context-specific, and gender- and nutrition-sensitive assistance. The planning and design of the activities is based on WFP’s Three-Pronged Approach (3PA) to resilience building, which is a consultative process that places people and partners at the center of planning, and FAO’s Resilience Index Measurement and Analysis (RIMA) model will be used to measure the impact of the interventions on household resilience.

Throughout the programme, the RBAs will align interventions to complement each other’s efforts:

  • WFP will target the most food-insecure people through Food Assistance For Assets interventions, providing food and/or cash transfers to cover households’ immediate food needs so they can dedicate time to building assets that reduce the risk of climatic shocks and seasonal hardships.
  • FAO-supported Farmer and Pastoral Field Schools, along with training in climate-resilient agricultural practices, will boost production and increase income and diversification of livelihoods. 
  • IFAD will work to strengthen local producers’ organizations; promote greater access to rural financial services; and improve the community-based governance of scarce natural resources.

Because shocks and stressors disproportionately affect rural women, a gender-responsive strategy will be adopted throughout the programme, taking into account the different roles and challenges of men and women and addressing their specific needs. The programme also focuses on peace building, helping to enhance sustainable and resilient rural livelihoods that are a cornerstone of peaceful societies.