Rethinking food crisis responses: Nigeria launch of the CGIAR Initiative on Fragility, Conflict, and Migration

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On May 11, 2023 the Abuja office of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI Nigeria) and the CGIAR Research Initiative on Fragility, Conflict, and Migration (FCM) co-hosted a hybrid event featuring the Nigeria presentation of IFPRI’s 2023 Global Food Policy Report (GFPR) titled “Rethinking Food Crises Responses” and the launch of the FCM Initiative. The event drew together various stakeholders in the agricultural policy space who reflected on the report and the research initiative plans and their relevance for diverse issues currently confronting Nigeria in the areas of food crises, fragility, conflict, and migration.

The 2023 Global Food Policy Report offers critical evidence to support effective policies and programming to enhance food, land, and water system resilience in fragile and conflict-affected countries, as well as in those facing migration-related challenges. The report focuses on crisis prediction and preparation, building resilience, and crisis response that is supportive and inclusive of women, forced migrants, and other vulnerable groups. The new CGIAR Research Initiative on Fragility, Conflict, and Migration takes up this research agenda with a focus on climate resilience, gender equity, and social inclusion. It forms part of CGIAR’s new research portfolio aimed at transforming food, land, and water systems in a climate crisis.

The event featured distinguished speakers from the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, CGIAR, USAID Nigeria, WFP Nigeria, and the private sector.

Kwaw Andam, Country Program Leader at IFPRI Nigeria, and Aline Mugisho, CGIAR Country Convener for Nigeria, delivered welcome remarks.

Johan Swinnen, IFPRI Director General and CGIAR Managing Director of Systems Transformation Global Group provided, in a video address, a high-level introduction of the 2023 GFPR. Swinnen underscored the importance of transitioning from conventional approaches to adopting systemic and sustainable solutions. He highlighted the need for developing policies, programs, and tools that promote resilience and equity within food systems. He also advocated for the integration of humanitarian and emergency food aid with systemic and sustainable approaches to effectively address the increasingly frequent and prolonged crises that arise.

Katrina Kosec, Senior Research Fellow at IFPRI, one of the lead authors of the 2023 GFPR, and the FCM Initiative Lead, presented the broad findings of the report and the key take-aways of its thematic chapters. She emphasized the importance of adopting a systems approach and collaborating with local stakeholders. Generating evidence that informs the development of effective policies and programs, which in turn promote social and gender equity, climate resilience, conflict mitigation, and peacebuilding within these contexts is of utmost importance, stressed Kosec.

Samuel Benin, IFPRI Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Division Director, Africa Regional Office, provided specific remarks for the African context. The food crisis in Africa is attributed to various factors such as extreme weather events, locust infestations, conflicts, and inadequate economic policies, said Benin. He encouraged investing in humanitarian assistance, resilience-building measures, and adopting a Humanitarian, Development, and Peace (HDP) nexus approach as effective strategies to combat food crises on the continent.

Rapid fire presentations on report chapters were given by Kalle Hirvonen from IFPRI, Peter Laderach from the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, and Sandra Ruckstuhl from the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).

Kate Ambler (Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI), Jordan Kyle (Research Fellow, IFPRI), and Inga Jacobs-Mata (Director, Water, Growth and Inclusion, IWMI) made a presentation about the Fragility, Conflict, and Migration initiative, highlighting its key themes and project plans. FCM addresses challenges to livelihood, food, and climate security issues faced by some of the most vulnerable populations worldwide. The initiative focuses on building climate resilience, promoting gender equity, and fostering social inclusion. The presenters outlined specific projects and goals along its four work packages: Anticipatory action and governance (ANTICIPATE); Conflict and emergency operations (BRIDGE); Stabilizing individual and community livelihoods (STABILIZE); and its stability and peace accelerator partnership and grant mechanism (ACCELERATE). [See full presentation here]

During the panel discussion, representatives from USAID Nigeria and WFP highlighted the importance of projects by IFPRI and CGIAR in providing essential information for sustainable changes in crisis preparedness and social development in Nigeria. They emphasized the significance of discussions between humanitarian development entities, research agencies, and the government to strengthen Nigeria’s capacity in preventing food crises. The Government representatives acknowledged the alignment of the Global Food Policy Report with their respective ministries’ objectives, including the focus on vulnerable groups. The panel emphasized the significance of collaboration, monitoring, and interventions to improve food production and protect vulnerable populations, alongside practical policies and inclusive decision-making processes involving local farmers. The need for research partnerships and a globalized agenda to address socio-economic challenges stemming from crises was also highlighted – a challenge which the FCM Initiative team noted their desire to take on.

The event concluded with an open Q&A session with the audience and closing remarks by Aline Mugisho and Samuel Benin.

Omobolanle Onilogbo, Adetunji Fasoranti, Lucia Carrillo, Katrina Kosec, Kwaw Andam, Hyacinth Edeh, and Evgeniya Anisimova contributed to this event post. For more information about the Fragility, Conflict, and Migration Initiative, visit FCM microsite or contact Initiative Lead Katrina Kosec

Top photo (L-R): Inga Jacobs-Mata, Regional Representative, IWMI Southern Africa; Kwaw Andam, Country Program Leader, IFPRI-Nigeria; Serena Mithbaokar, Head, Research, Analysis, and Monitoring, WFP – Nigeria; Dr Umar Bindir representing the Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development; Tanimu Ibrahim representing the Honorable Minister, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Aline Mugisho, One CGIAR Country Convener for Nigeria; Kenneth Dunn, Deputy Director, Office of Economic Growth and Environment, USAID/Nigeria; Kate Ambler, Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI; Samuel Benin, Deputy Division Director, Africa Regional Office, IFPRI; Katrina Kosec, Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI; and Jordan Kyle, Research Fellow, IFPRI.

More photos from the Abuja event here:

2023 AbujaGFPR/FCM Event

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