Tuesday, 19 October 2010 7:56 AM

Food Security in the Pacific

Food Secure Pacific Working Group to begin implementing the Food Security Regional Framework

A multi-agency working group on food security in the Pacific reconvened recently in Suva to address food security issues and concerns in the Pacific. The Food Secure Pacific Working Group, which was established in 2009, met this month to begin implementing the Food Security Regional Framework, which was endorsed by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders at their August 2010 meeting in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

The working group comprises representatives of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). It will undertake a mapping exercise to ascertain the current range of interventions that the agencies are undertaking in their work towards food security in the region and map them against the requirements outlined in the Food Security Regional Framework.

'The group has shifted its focus from developing the strategy and framework on food security to looking at how the framework will be implemented,' said the working group's chair, SPC Director-General Dr Jimmie Rodgers.

Dr Rodgers said that the mapping exercise was crucial. 'This will identify areas where there may be overlaps and also where there are specific gaps in the region's response. Based on this analysis, the group will meet again towards the end of October to draw up a 2011 workplan, which may include the need to go out and secure additional resources to help address the gaps,' Dr Rodgers said.

In the meantime, a number of Pacific Island countries and territories are planning their own national food summits in early 2011, including Papua New Guinea, and Marshall Islands.