May 31, 2023 (NAIROBI, Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in partnership with the World Food Programme, yesterday inaugurated a consultative symposium on water resources management for food and nutrition security.
Relevant stakeholders convened and discussed ideas, proposals, and investment strategies that will enrich and advance water resources management for food and nutrition security, especially in fragile, complex, and conflict-prone settings.
Representatives of public and private institutions such as the Boston Consulting Group; the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); the World Wildlife Fund (WWF); the Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA); the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (IGAD CPAC); and IGAD Centre For Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (IGAD CPALD) also took part in the symposium.
The two-day symposium was attended by senior representatives, including the Director of Agriculture and Environment Division of IGAD, Mr. Daher Elmi, and the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Ms. Hanna Tetteh.
In his opening remarks on behalf of the IGAD Executive Secretary, the Director of IGAD Agriculture and Environment Division, Mr. Daher Elmi, said: “We gather today under the auspices of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a symbol of regional cooperation and shared determination. The purpose that brings us together is the consultative symposium on “Water Resource Management for Fragile Food Systems: Partnerships, Solutions, and Opportunities for Impact. We find ourselves facing the specters of food insecurity, climate change, resource scarcity, and economic shocks. IGAD stands firm, focusing on enhancing agricultural production and productivity to combat these trials”.
The United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa stated: “Today’s Consultative Symposium on Water organised by WFP and IGAD is an important initiative that has brought together a cross-section of partners to look at the issues of water management, its impact on food systems & food security in the Horn of Africa. I am encouraged by the efforts being made across the UN Secretariat, Agencies, Funds, and Programmes to work with IGAD and its member states as well as other critical INGO, CSO, and private sector partners on sharing information and analysis as well as initiatives that have shown demonstrated positive outcomes.”
The Symposium aims to:
- develop a shared understanding of the challenges, a common ‘problem statement’;
- review together the potential options for investment and action; and
- agree on priority actions for the short, medium, and longer term.
Degraded landscapes exacerbated by climate shocks limit opportunities for food diversification and production, thereby constraining positive development and human security. Aligned with IGAD’s priorities for food security and climate resilience, as well as goals enshrined in the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), World Food Programme has committed to leveraging its operational presence in the most water-insecure countries in the region (Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya), and to build on its institutional experience of delivering water projects at the community level, to scale-up existing programmes and activities.