Scoping study towards DFIDSA’s Regional Hunger and Vulnerability Programme

Scoping study towards DFIDSA’s Regional Hunger and Vulnerability Programme

Promoting food security in Southern Africa: key areas for intervention

This report presents the findings of a scoping project to inform the design of a three-year Regional Hunger and Vulnerability Programme (RHVP) funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) in Southern Africa. It identifies opportunities for DFID to support national or, particularly, regional initiatives that will enhance food security through coordinated policy or institutional interventions.

The report describes the existing institutional arrangements and considers a variety of nationally- and regionally-based options to address shortcomings. Recommendations address four topics:

  • regional capacity in vulnerability analysis
  • social protection
  • trade in foodstuffs
  • policy for food security.

Key recommendations for each of these areas are:

  • the SADC-established Vulnerability Assessment Committees (VACs) need to move from a focus on crisis situations to increase attention to chronic food insecurity. VACs should play a greater role in analysing and communicating information about the causes of food insecurity
  • there is a need for stronger social protection mechanisms. Development of such social supports should be supported through the establishment of a regional facility able to identify successes and failures in existing mechanisms to enable scaling up of effective pilots
  • importing food from the region to areas of shortages is typically cheaper than storing it. To increase access to local food imports in times of shortages there is a need to address transport and trade regulations and barriers
  • while the regional availability of food is important, questions regarding access to that food tend to be overlooked. Greater attention must be given to individual and household perspectives, social differentiation, and the fate of the chronically poor
  • finally, it is essential that more information on the issue of food insecurity and vulnerability be gathered and shared with policy makers.

Note: The original report submitted by SARPN to DFID contained a number of recommendations for DFID in designing their Regional Hunger and Vulnerability Programme. These recommendations are being considered by DFID and cover the four key areas outlined in section VII of the strategy paper, available in Further Information.