NAIROBI The County Government of Baringo and the World Food Programme have entered into a two-year agreement on reinforcing the ability of the local authorities to address hunger.
In Kenya’s devolved system of government, county governments now have the responsibility of ensuring that citizens have access to adequate and nutritious food. Some counties have sought WFP support in setting up robust local systems to help them counter hunger and food insecurity.
“The county governments are the ‘first responders’ in food security emergencies, and we all realize that we must work together to make sure that they are well equipped to meet this important challenge,” said Annalisa Conte, the WFP Representative and Country Director in Kenya.
WFP has long worked closely with national and county governments on food security initiatives. This first formal agreement at the county level allows Baringo to take advantage of WFP’s decades of experience in designing and implementing programmes that improve access to food for the most vulnerable Kenyans. WFP expects to continue sharing its extensive skills with three other counties under similar agreements.
“The partnership with WFP is very timely. As a county, one of the outcomes that we want to see is the designing and implementation of strong development plans, that will pave the way for sustained economic growth for our people,” said H.E. Benjamin Cheboi, Governor Baringo County.
“The governments of the most food-insecure counties know that it is enormously important for them to build the right capacity to assess, prepare for, and effectively respond to food crises. The first step in achieving food and nutrition security is to recognize where there are gaps, so together we can address them,” said Annalisa Conte.
WFP will help develop the capacity of the county government in the following areas, among others:
• Early warning and vulnerability assessment: Collection and analysis of early warning data; assessing the food security situation and the number of people in need of food assistance;
• Emergency preparedness and response: Updating the county contingency plan with relevant scenarios, and identifying interventions for different stages of alarm; putting in place agreed-upon Standard Operating Procedures; and managing the humanitarian supply chain effectively;
• Response analysis: Identifying the most appropriate method of support (e.g. cash or food, or otherwise) for different groups in different situations; analysing the markets; determining the amount of food or cash to be given and for how long;
• Social protection programmes: Identifying the people to receive assistance in relation to the needs and existing support; defining the eligibility criteria and selection processes, and monitoring the implementation;
• Preparation of programmes: Selecting and registering the people to receive assistance; setting up agreements with logistic or financial service providers; and ensuring the equipment, skills and infrastructure required to deliver food or cash assistance.
Baringo is one of four counties expected to benefit from this initiative. Other counties with which WFP expects to sign similar cooperation agreements are Marsabit, Wajir and Samburu. WFP is investing about US$4.46 million (455 million Kenyan shillings) in building skills in the four counties, as part of a three-year WFP resilience project financed by the Government of Sweden.
On top of training, staff secondments, and policy advice, WFP will donate technical equipment to enable timely collection, transmission and processing of food security data.
Overall, WFP and the county governments will build and strengthen skills in assessing, designing, implementing, monitoring and coordinating efforts to address short-term and long-term hunger.
The work is part of Kenya’s approach to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN Security Council in September. World leaders have committed to SDG 2 – Zero Hunger – which aims to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture by the year 2030.
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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org):
Martin Karimi, WFP/Kenya, Tel. (office) +254 20 762 2301 or (cell) +254 707 722 161