The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Development Initiatives (DI), and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) hosted a roundtable to discuss ways to meet the longer-term needs of crisis-affected populations more effectively.
The discussion helped to stimulate dialogue and foster mutual understanding as to how development and humanitarian actors can integrate peace as a cross-cutting approach in the ‘triple nexus’.
The triple nexus is an approach that aspires to transform the way that humanitarian, development, and peace activities in fragile situations are planned, implemented and financed in order to better meet immediate and longer-term needs, mitigate vulnerability, and promote peace.
“FAO always works with a long-term approach in mind, even during an emergency or protracted crisis,” said FAO Representative in Bangladesh Robert D. Simpson. “FAO’s mandate and technical expertise make the organization uniquely placed to promote dialogue and collaboration and achieve longer-term sustainable results.
“From flood anticipatory action to landslide early warning, greening Rohingya camps, and building sustainable food systems, our actions prevent crises and help vulnerable populations recover from disasters.”
He highlighted the success of the SAFE Plus project in Cox’s Bazar. The region is a priority area for FAO. With a Bangladeshi population of 2.65 million people, Cox’s Bazar hosts the largest refugee camp in the world with 884 000 Rohingya who reside in 34 makeshift camps. The area is prone to monsoon landslides and seasonal cyclones.
The SAFE Plus project – jointly implemented by FAO, the International Organization for Migration, and the World Food Programme – has protected and restored natural resources, bringing a positive environmental impact and calming a source of conflict between host and Rohingya populations.
Effective partnerships with local and national government are essential for successful longer-term approaches in protracted crises, as demonstrated by FAO’s work in Cox’s Bazar. FAO ensured that strategies were aligned with national policies and sought the engagement of the Department of Agricultural Extension, Department of Fisheries, and Department of Livestock Services.
Robert D. Simpson stressed that FAO will continue to invest in prevention and anticipatory approaches, in line with the One Health approach and flood response anticipatory action project. He called for predictable and flexible multi-year financing that brings together humanitarian, development, and peace stakeholders.
The other panellists raised similar points. They were: Anders Frankenberg, Triple Nexus Advisor at Sida; Charlotte MacDiarmid, Senior Policy and Engagement Advisor, Development Initiatives; Leonard Mizzi, Head of Unit, Sustainable Agri-Food Systems and Fisheries at the European Union Directorate-General for International Partnerships; and Maclean Natugasha, NRC Country Director for Cameroon. The event was moderated by Alice Armanni Sequi, Chief of Pooled Fund Management Branch, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. There were more than 270 participants.
Many attendees raised questions about localization; in particular, the role that local non-governmental organizations and local governments play in meeting the longer-terms needs of people living in protracted crisis countries and regions. Along the same lines, other attendees raised questions about the challenges that United Nations agencies face when cascading funds to local actors. Women’s empowerment across the nexus was another topic raised by many attendees.
The webinar follows the launch in April of DI’s synthesis report, entitled “Development actors at the nexus: Lessons from crises in Bangladesh, Cameroon and Somalia,’’ which was produced in partnership with FAO and NRC.