Liberia Validates Charter on Food Crisis Prevention, Management

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Several government ministries and international stakeholders have ended a two-day validation and assessment of the Charter to prevent and manage food crises in Liberia.
The workshop, sponsored by ECOWAS and other UN partners, reviewed the 2010 revised Charter’s regional and national processes including a desk review of Liberia’s food and nutrition survey that exposed the country’s capacity to establish a national framework on food insecurity.
The validation covered food crises and management; a national dialogue, the process of the charter; its content and the evaluation of the Charter focused on the evaluation report. Looking at information dissemination and analysis of issues, the need for consensual information; the importance for support for the emergence of perennial food security information systems, to have shared diagnosis, delivering information that facilitate decision making; contribution to institutional and financial sustainability of information mechanism; reinforcing information reliability; cooperation and analyzing data within the time frame.
The two-day discussions targeted food crises prevention and management taking into account governance, respect of principle of participation, appropriation and responsibility; the dialogue in the coordination with regards to information, support for the setting up of dialogue mechanisms and promoting transparency to ensure effectiveness.
Other issues were the analysis of the crises based on the selection or choice of tools as well as consensus, national capacity to understand and analysis, capacity to design framework, immediate effects and coordinate action.
Closing the two-day workshop yesterday, Deputy Minister of Agriculture for Regional Development, Research and Extension, Thomas Gbokie, thanked all the participants and indicated that unlike 2010 when the Charter was revised, the validation process with recommendations cutting across institutions should be implemented.
Min. Gbokie said there is a need to work and put the issues into action considering how the Ebola crisis tested the country and what will be next is unknown, therefore it must inform all that the process is a wake-up call.
Meanwhile, the two-day national workshop on the validation and assessment of the Charter for the Prevention and Management of Food Crises in Liberia reports presented highlight that there is no harmonized frameworks for food insecurity management and food security information system in the country.
Even though the Charter report being validated states that Liberia had never had food crises since 2000, the country still remains food insecure and lacks the technical consensus for food management as the Charter of 1990 observed the lack of early warning systems and dialogue mechanisms.
However, that Charter covers the Sahel and other West African countries with an objective of minimizing the adverse effect of food aid and ensured that it ultimately fades out so that countries are encouraged to produce their foods.
The said Charter was revised because of the changes taking place in the world, there were more complex food crises, increase in urban population, strong influence of the international market on the region, rise to power of farmers’ organizations and a report to diversify response tools, among other issues.
Meanwhile, the revised Charter of 2010 to date still considers as objectives, the review and the commitment of the States and all other actors with the idea of preventing and managing food crises.

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