IGAD Bi-annual Meeting on Food Security and Nutrition, in the Context of Desert Locust Invasion, COVID-19 Pandemic and Widespread Flooding

Nov. 10, 2020, 9 a.m.

The IGAD Food Security, Nutrition and Resilience Analysis Hub (IFRAH) in collaboration with the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification Global Support Unit (IPC-GSU) held the 2nd IGAD bi-annual meeting on food security and nutrition, in the context of desert locust invasion, COVID-19 pandemic, and widespread flooding. The meeting took place on Tuesday, 10th November 2020, from 9:00 AM to 12:55 PM.

The meeting brought together IGAD Member States and partners to:

  • Update the current food security and nutrition situation in the region based on recent IPC-led, Member States and other partners’ analyses.
  • Update the current desert locust situation, including areas of current invasion, ongoing control efforts, and preparedness for the anticipated south-ward locust spread during the October-December season.
  • Discuss the just finalized IGAD Food Security and Nutrition Response Strategy 2020-2022, in the Context of Covid-19, Desert Locust Invasion and Floods.

Key messages from the meeting included:

  • The food security and nutrition situation in many parts of the region is of concern owing to the combined impact of current shocks – desert locust upsurge, COVID-19 pandemic and floods – and protracted food insecurity and malnutrition from past shocks.
  • Displaced populations continue to be disproportionately impacted by food insecurity and malnutrition, possibly owing to limited livelihood opportunities and degraded coping mechanisms, among others.
  • In view of the significant socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on urban and peri-urban dwellers, it is key that data on affected populations is mapped and updated in order to ensure targeted interventions.
  • There is an increased risk of below average October-December (OND) 2020 seasonal rains, which could further threaten food security and livelihoods across the region. Actors are therefore encouraged to update contingency plans and activate sectoral response plans to facilitate early response.
  • The desert locust situation in the region remains critical, especially in Ethiopia and Somalia, which are the epicentres of invasion. As widespread breeding continues in parts of these countries, a possible invasion into Kenya, in December 2020, is projected.
  • Despite the challenging situation, countries are better prepared than a year ago, and both ground and aerial control operations have been intensified.
  • It is critical that the capacity of Member States and partners to collect and disseminate timely, accurate and reliable food security and nutrition data and information that is easily accessible across sectors and that can be used for evidence-based decision making, is strengthened.

It is anticipated that, in addition to strengthening IGAD’s advocacy for stronger collaborations between governments, development and humanitarian actors to address food insecurity and malnutrition in the region, the information and discussions from the meeting will also go a long way in effectively informing policies, projects and programmes aimed at addressing food insecurity and malnutrition in the IGAD Region.