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Horn of Africa, 26 September 2011: ‘Context, challenges and best practices’ – UNICEF and FAO announce expert briefing on crisis

Full-day seminar on 3 October in Nairobi

NAIROBI, Kenya, 26 September 2011 – As urgent efforts continue on the ground in response to the immediate crisis in the Horn of Africa, UNICEF and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are organizing an in-depth briefing on longer-term approaches to preventing the escalation of droughts into humanitarian catastrophes.

Click here for the complete agenda and registration details.

The full-day seminar for academics, aid workers and other interested participants will be held on 3 October at the UN office in Nairobi. Panellists at the event will explore the context of the crisis, the humanitarian challenges it poses and the best practices of relief organizations addressing the emergency.

Practitioners, NGOs and academics

Featured on the agenda are experts from the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) for Somalia, the inter-agency Food Security and Nutrition Working Group (FSNWG), the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and other agencies – as well as the European Union, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • The food-security situation and outlook in the Horn of Africa
  • Short- and long-term consequences of famine
  • Political economy and social dynamics
  • Facts and myths about pastoralism
  • Lessons learned from past crisis interventions in the sub-region.

Livelihoods and ways of life

Building on extensive academic study of the droughts and related crises that have beset the Horn of Africa, the UNICEF-FAO seminar aims to help frame humanitarian decision-making with the greatest possible level of sensitivity and knowledge. This is especially important as agencies rapidly scale up their programmes, and aid workers have to make far-reaching decisions in a highly complex and often volatile environment.

“Because humanitarian practitioners are under high pressure to deliver,” wrote UNICEF Regional Chief of Programme Planning Dorothée Klaus in a concept note for the seminar, “there remains little if no time to familiarise with lessons learned from the past crisis responses.” To prevent further harm to communities that are already under stress, added Dr. Klaus, the aid community needs a thorough understanding of their long-established livelihoods and ways of life.

For more information:

Michael Klaus, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office, +254 (0)716 431 880,



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