Risk and Resilience

El Niño and Beyond: Policy Options to Increase Resilience to Weather Shocks

While the 2015-2016 El Niño cycle is not expected to significantly reduce global cereal production levels, according to a new IFPRI policy brief, the weather event is creating serious local food shortfalls in many regions of the world, including  Africa south of the Sahara. To address this, the brief calls for careful monitoring of production and prices in the region, the promotion of more transparent international and domestic trade policies, and expanded coverage of safety nets and nutrition programs

How Africa Can Respond to Challenges of Climate Change, High Food Imports, Growing Young Population

This week, the FAO held its 29th Regional Conference for Africa (ARC) in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. The conference, a biennial event, provides a platform for policymakers and stakeholders to discuss agricultural development in the region, with the aim of promoting regional cooperation and coherent policies.

El Niño-Driven Drought Continues to Threaten Livelihoods, Food Security throughout Southern Africa

South Africa is in the throes of the worst drought in 30 years, according to a recent BBC article. Driven by the on-going El Niño cycle, below average rainfall and above average temperatures have limited crop development and water availability throughout the region.

Climate Change Adaptation Requires Gender Inclusion

The impacts of climate change on agriculture can differ widely depending on a variety of factors, including the region of production, crop variety, and availability and use of inputs like fertilizers and irrigation. Gender can also play a large role in how individuals both experience and respond to climate change. Since gender norms often at least partially establish individuals’ social status, rights, and responsibilities, it is likely that men and women face different constraints and opportunities and will make different decisions when it comes to adapting to climate change.

Climate-Smart Agriculture: Kenya Country Profile

Continuing its series on climate-smart agriculture (CSA), the World Bank has recently released a country profile for Kenya. Of the country’s 42.7 million people, 74 percent live in rural areas; agriculture employs more than 80 percent of Kenya’s rural workforce and provides about 18 percent of the country’s total formal employment.

Climate-Smart Agriculture: Rwanda Country Profile

Agriculture plays a major role in the economy and labor market of Rwanda, as it does in many countries in Africa south of the Sahara. The agricultural sector made up one-third of the country’s GDP in 2009-2013 and employed more than 80 percent of the Rwandan population (World Bank, 2015). With a changing climate providing new production challenges and an increasing population driving greater demand for food, however, agriculture needs to adapt if it is going to continue to be a sustainable economic mainstay.

Drought Alert in South Africa

Concern continues regarding the food security situation in southern Africa, with a  special alert from the Global Information and Early Warning System for Food and Agriculture (GIEWS) citing ongoing dry weather that could significantly impact 2016 harvests throughout the region. Southern Africa’s rainy season typically lasts from October through April, with around 75 percent of annual precipitation occurring between November and March.

Africa's Role at COP21

On December 12, nearly 200 countries signed a landmark climate change deal into effect. The COP21 Paris agreement pledges to keep global temperature increases "well below" 2 degrees Celsius and to pursue efforts to further limit increases to 1.5C by 2100. While individual countries' emission reduction targets are not legally binding, countries are legally obligated to review their progress every five years.

Increasing Resilience Requires an Effective Framework for Measurement

This piece was originally posted on the Global Food Security Portal's Food for Thought blog.

Extreme Poverty Falling, But Still A Challenge

The year 2015 saw the world’s focus transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals. According to a new World Bank report, the year is also predicted to see a significant drop in extreme poverty (defined as living with less than $1.90 per day according to the updated international poverty line), from 902 million people worldwide in 2012 to 702 million people in 2015, or 9.6 percent of the global population.

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