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Question 8: FFP and Safety Nets

Question 8: FFP and Safety Nets

Posted by Patrick Coonan on 20 Aug 2014

During a plenary session at the TOPS/FSN Network Knowledge Sharing Meeting in July 2014, Susan Bradley of Food for Peace (FFP) asked the food security implementers in the room for their thoughts on key questions regarding the updating of the FFP Strategic Plan. This is the eighth question in that series. 

We welcome your thoughts and will be sharing your ideas directly with FFP. You can view the small group report out from the plenary session for this question by skipping to minute 1:02:20 of this recording.


FFP programming—both emergency and development—has often served as an ad hoc safety net in countries where inadequate or no formal safety nets exist. FFP has also played a critical role in establishing, supporting, and implementing formal safety net programs (e.g. Ethiopia, Haiti, Bangladesh), but is struggling with the lack of clearly defined (and realistic) exit strategies.

What should be the role of FFP in regard to national safety nets?

Preventive approaches and resilience

Posted by Joan Whelan on 26 Aug 2014

Posted on behalf of Stanley Stalla, FFP Officer, USAID/Burundi

My FFP colleague here in Burundi and I have begun coordinating with WFP and FAO to develop a resilience approach for Burundi that would be a pilot in some areas where there appears to be chronic food insecurity (due to a range of conditions, including climate change).  We have looked at the Niger model (for WFP and FAO collaboration with FFP), and we’re trying to take parts of it for a Burundian version.  So, my suggestion is that FFP should, in countries like Burundi, do some piloting of different models (here, we’re thinking about the R4 approach) to see what works.  In the medium and long haul, we’re much more likely, in my opinion, to make efficient use of FFP resources through preventative approaches (early warning systems, R4, others).

National Safety Nets

Posted by Gabrielle.Ben on 5 Sep 2014

In regards to national safety nets, we feel that FFP should work directly with government institutions and provide technical assistance. FFP should also work to strengthen systems that identify/target the most vulnerable.

In my opinion this is perhaps

Posted by Greg Scarborough on 5 Sep 2014

In my opinion this is perhaps the most critical element of resilience programming at a national level - even in the most developed countries a severe and widespread shock can rarely be absorbed by households and communnities and one only needs to look at hurricane's Sandy and Katrina and wildfires in the USA to see the importance of safety nets in bouncing back. At the same time, even in functioning democracies with national budgets that allow for extensive safety net programs we see they can become stressed and may not be sustainable - look to Greece, SSI, etc.  This is a really challenging space for us to work in and in addiiton to thinking about the exit-strategy, we should be careful about the entry strategy. I see the benefits in collaboration and bi-lateral technical assitance but we FFP implementing partners should be careful about being overzealous in designing these type of programs at a certain scale (local/community managed saftey nets would be more a good space). Perhaps we can help natoinal governments to implement them, get them up and running, but to design them in ways that will be successful and sustainable is highly technical work and we should perhaps look closely at the work in Haiti and Ethiopia ofr lessons learned as I am sure is happening. 

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