Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Food Security Strategy Workshop to highlight actions for progress

Sana’a – Policymakers, researchers, and donors are considering a seven point action plan to improve food security in Yemen by 2020. The discussions are taking place at the Food Security Strategy Workshop hosted by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, Government of Yemen, in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

One-third of Yemenis – 7.5 million people – do not have enough food, making Yemen the most food insecure country in the Arab world. But the Government of Yemen has a mission to drastically change those figures and is committed to cut food insecurity by one-third by 2015, make 90 percent of the population food secure by 2020, and sharply reduce child malnutrition.

“The Government of Yemen is committed to taking all measures to increase food security in the country, and these recommendations will be reflected in the five year plan that will be finalized by the end of this year,” said Abdulkarim I. Al-Arhabi, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of Planning and International Cooperation.

The seven point action plan outlines suggested priorities for action, to be followed-up with decisive policies, targeted investments and programs, to reach the goals of reducing food insecurity.

The proposed action points are:

Leverage fuel subsidy reform to promote food security;
Promote pro-food secure private investments in promising sectors;
Support for non-qat agricultural development;
Enforce competition among cereal importers and consider physical grain storage for emergencies;
Implement water sector strategy;
Better target public investment to the food insecure; and
Launch national campaigns for family planning, nutrition, and women’s empowerment

“With a combination of proper policies and design of investment plans and programs, Yemen can dramatically improve food security, and reach its goals by 2015 and 2020,” said IFPRI research fellow Clemens Breisinger, who provided technical assistance with the action plan.

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