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Launch of annual report “Food Security in a Climate Perspective 2014”

Last updated: 26.06.2015 // Thursday this week, the Royal Norwegian Embassy to Malawi launched the “Food Security in a Climate Perspective” annual report for 2014. The launch was an occasion to acknowledge the cooperation with our development partners, and to discuss the way forward.

 

Photo: The launch took place at the Royal Norwegian Ambassador’s Residence in Lilongwe, Malawi.

The Royal Norwegian Embassy to Malawi launched the annual report on food security for 2014 yesterday, Thursday June 25th. The report, which was launched by the Norwegian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hans Brattskar, in Oslo earlier this week, presents results of Norwegian efforts to improve food security. African countries receive 75 percent of all Norwegian development support to food security, and Malawi is the largest recipient. In addition to being among the six priority countries for Norwegian efforts to increase food security, Malawi is one of Norway’s “focal countries” for development cooperation. This means that Norway will remain a reliable and committed long-term development partner, who will provide constructive criticism when necessary. In the words of Norwegian Ambassador to Malawi, Kikkan Haugen, “Norway is here to stay”.

Among the invitees to the launch were main partner organisations and institutions – the most significant of which is the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development  - and development partners. The partners were commended by the Ambassador for their good work, much of which was highlighted in the report. These efforts have significantly improved food security for beneficiary households. The three key components of Norwegian aid to food security – increased support to small holders, increased gender mainstreaming and increased involvement of private sector – received particular attention.

The Ambassador underlined that although the commitment of Malawian authorities to increased food security is substantial, and contributions of development partners are significant, food insecurity in Malawi is increasing and humanitarian emergencies frequently reoccur. In the face of current climate change related challenges this season, including late onset and early cessation of, and flooding in large parts of the country, the title of the report was a particularly apt starting point for the ensuing discussion. The Principal Secretary, Mr Bright Kumwembe, underlined these challenges when mentioning that the Government of Malawi annually must subsidize both production and consumption.

To increase food security in a climate perspective, short-term humanitarian response must be linked more closely with long-term resilience building. Natural resource management and climate smart agricultural practices are key to sustainably increased production. The attendees agreed that small holders are key to long-term efforts to improve food security, and that public-private partnerships and investment along the entire value chain must be further promoted to increase both production and income. All stakeholders must move beyond rhetoric on gender mainstreaming, and food security must be considered in connection with nutrition and income security. This necessitates efforts both at policy level and on the ground.

The report – which can be found here – acknowledges the great work of our partners, and stresses the need for continued cooperation and exchange of information and knowledge. The launch was among several events on food security in June and July, including the upcoming presentation of the Malawian Vulnerability Assessment Committee report and market assessment, and an upcoming multi-stakeholder brainstorming session that will take a long-term perspective and look for long-term solutions.  Improving food security in Malawi is high on the agenda, and Norway is committed to contribute in both a short and long-term perspective.


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