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Communique during the IGAD Regional Ministerial Meeting on the Process of Strengthening, Adapting, and Accelerating National and Regional Efforts to Address Food Crises in East Africa

07 October 2022, NAIROBI, Kenya

We, the Ministers and Heads of Delegations from IGAD Member States comprised of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda having met in Nairobi, Republic of Kenya, on 7th October 2022 on the occasion of the high-level regional meeting to agree efforts to strengthen, adapt, and accelerate national and regional efforts to address the persistent food crises in eastern Africa, based on more effective and complementary actions that meet immediate humanitarian needs, while promoting longer term development efforts to tackle the symptoms and drivers of food crises;

Appreciate the hospitality and warm welcome accorded to the conference delegates by the Government and the people of the Republic of Kenya, as well as the efforts being made to address food crises in the context of the commitments made by the Member States, IGAD, and development partners;

Further appreciate the initiative taken by IGAD through its Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) and the support provided by the Global Network against Food Crises (GNAFC) to bring together delegates and regional level partners from the IGAD Member States to share collective understanding of the regional food crisis, its evolving dimensions and drivers and affirm our shared commitment to strengthen regional and national responses to tackle worsening food security and prevent famine in the region;

Recognize that the region accounts for 22% of the global number of people in Crisis or worse, with over 47 million people projected to face IPC Phase 3 or above in seven IGAD countries this year, over 300 000 people projected to face ‘Catastrophic conditions’ (IPC Phase 5) in Somalia and South Sudan, and an estimated 10 million children under the age of 5 to suffer from malnutrition;

Recognize the detrimental impact of international barriers and restrictions to investment and trade on the region’s already fragile food systems;

Recognize that the current food crisis and the region’s consistent high levels of acute food insecurity compounded by systemic risks and multidimensional drivers, including protracted conflict, insecurity and related displacement, weather and climate-related shocks, and economic shocks at national, regional and global levels leading to fragility of food systems.

Recognize further that these immediate shocks and longer-term systemic risks are impacting on the socio-economic wellbeing and longer-term development of the countries and people in the region – including pastoral and agro-pastoral livelihoods – and cannot be tackled by short-term responses alone – as they require more complementary humanitarian, development, and peace actions (a nexus approach), and predictable, sustainable and shock-resistant financing mechanisms;

Express deep concern over the risk of Famine, particularly in Somalia where food insecurity and malnutrition levels are already at alarming levels;

Acknowledge the joint initiative between IGAD and World Health Organization for addressing health impact on food insecurity through reinforcing health response to avert morbidity and mortality in a food insecurity crisis;         

Recall the high-level round table in Geneva, co-hosted by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the EU’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) in April 2022, where donors confirmed the commitment of around USD1.5 billion for humanitarian and development response to the drought in eastern Africa;

Recall the Ministerial meeting to review Responses to the Current Drought Disaster in the IGAD Region held on 13th May 2022 in Nairobi, Kenya, and the commitments to scale up efforts to mitigate the worsening humanitarian situation, the support provided, and efforts made by the partners to provide humanitarian assistance to affected communities;

Recall the African Union Extraordinary Humanitarian Summit and Pledging Conference, in May 2022 in Malabo, stressing the need to strengthen humanitarian development and peace actions to address food and nutrition challenges that go beyond the provision of immediate relief efforts;

Recall the efforts made by IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI) and Member States to scale up resilience investments in the region in the face of multiple hazards;

Further recall the UN Security Council Resolution 2417 passed on 24 May 2018, calling upon Member States to uphold international humanitarian law in conflict and abide by the primary responsibility to protect populations throughout their whole territories;

Commend the role of IGAD/ICPAC in the seasonal weather forecasting and projections which serves as an early warning tool to evaluate the situation, notably through the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forums (GHACOF) that play a pivotal role in disseminating information and producing multisectoral climate advisories to Member States to support implementation of appropriate action;

Commend the efforts of international development partners, including the Africa Development Bank, The World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the European Union and its Member States, etc;

Acknowledge the continued commitment and efforts being made by the IGAD Member States, and humanitarian, development and peace actors in striving to promote actionable solutions in the IGAD region – including through the strengthening of a nexus approach based on the respective comparative advantages of each agency; hereby:

  1. Declare our joint commitments to develop a comprehensive ‘roadmap’ that prioritizes the scaling up of famine prevention, the strengthening of food systems, and enhancing of resilience to the multidimensional risks and shocks that impact upon food security across the region to promote community, national and regional well-being and sustainable development across the region that contributes to peace;
  2. Uphold our commitments, in partnership with relevant stakeholders at different levels, to strengthen global, regional and national coordination mechanisms to accelerate concrete, complementary and timely solutions to immediate and longer-term food security and sustainable food systems in East Africa;
  3. Commit IGAD Member States and Secretariat, in partnership with relevant stakeholders, to develop measures to strengthen the capacity for multi-hazard early warning early action mechanisms at national and regional levels, that break the cycle of recurrent food crises, and transform food systems as a critical element to support sustainable development and peace;
  4. Commit to increased investment in developing and strengthening shock-responsive, adaptable and pro-poor social protection mechanisms that meet the needs of the different sectors of the communities – including women and girls, youth, and forcibly displaced people, pursuing different livelihoods such as pastoralism, agro-pastoralism and subsistence farming, with clearly defined triggers for action on the basis of multi-hazard early warning data;
  5. Commit IGAD Member States and Secretariat to accelerate investment in vital analytical tools and frameworks, recalling previous commitments to establish regular regional and national food and feed balance sheets that provide a comprehensive assessment of food supply in the region;
  6. Urge IGAD Member States, in partnership with relevant stakeholders, to strengthen national food systems, addressing the multi-dimensional risks to such systems through coordinated efforts to reduce grain import dependency, reduce harvest losses and promote the adaptation of key sectors to climate-related risks;
  7. Urge IGAD Member States and partners to strengthen the linkages between regional coordination mechanisms and the implementation of food systems national pathways, developed as a critical outcome from the Food Systems Summit;
  8. Urge all stakeholders to prioritize the strengthening of capacity for data management, analysis and sharing at national and regional levels, including the identification of critical data gaps and greater interoperability between humanitarian and development approaches;
  9. Further urge IGAD to devise mechanisms that improve the role of risk transfer and risk financing approaches in enhancing communities’ resilience and livelihoods;
  10. Call upon the IGAD Member States and partners to adopt the systematic conflict sensitive approaches and focusing on conflict reduction and management process including at community level, to contribute to reduce detrimental impact of conflicts on food security;
  11. Recommend IGAD and Member States to prioritize the strengthening of transboundary pest control mechanisms – including establishing coordinated Early Warning, Early Action Systems and data generation and sharing;
  12. Recommend IGAD Member States, in partnership with international, Regional and National stakeholders, to develop coordinated regional policies, strategies, and programs that recognize the crucial interlinkages between food security, health, water, climate, and conflict resolution.
  13. Encourage investments into cross-border initiatives and cross-border trade, recognizing its contribution to peace and its importance in contributing to sustainable solutions and resilience building of refugees, IDPs, returnees and hosting communities.

Done on this 7th day of October 2022 in Nairobi, Kenya


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