How do we do food security, nutrition and livelihoods?


 National Societies’ preparedness and risk reduction related intervention areas to food, nutrition and livelihoods insecurity include:

1- Supporting the most food and nutrition insecure households and communities to meet their food needs in quality and quantity in a sustainable manner.

  • Promoting innovative practices related to reducing food and nutrition insecurity through diversified livelihoods approaches (farming and livestock inputs, skills development, cash and in-kind resource transferring etc.),  
  • Enhancing water harvesting and management practices in support of small-holder farmers and livestock herders
  • Facilitating development of community based food and nutrition security assessment, monitoring and evaluation systems, e.g. in market links, early warning systems, malnutrition screening and referral

2- Enhancing and activating awareness and knowledge in food and nutrition security and livelihoods among vulnerable communities

  • Raising public awareness and public education about reducing risks to food insecurity, malnutrition and related health risks as well as sustainable household livelihoods and appropriate extension services – including delivery of climate and market information and innovative research outputs (climate smart agriculture, conservation farming, organic farming, aquaculture, value adding systems to food security, promotion of hygiene and good nutrition practices, etc.)
  • Mobilizing communities, local authorities and other stakeholders and advocating and campaigning for natural resource conservation (soil erosion control, forestation, animal management etc.) as required and appropriate
  • Mainstreaming gender and diversified systems in food and nutrition security and livelihoods interventions

3- Building capacities of community organizations, enhancing social cohesion, building social assets (with a focus on formal and informal local institutions)

4- Establishing and enhancing partnerships and networks

Depending on the context, the Red Cross Red Crescent provides equipment and materials but volunteers and staff of National Societies, together with technical experts also provide support and advice on appropriate techniques and practices at community levels. They furthermore mobilize and facilitate community action planning, and where possible, enable households and communities with participatory approaches to identify solutions for their problems that can be used for improving their food and nutrition security. However, as bottom up approaches and community contributions are key for project ownership, National Societies also support communities’ initiatives where applicable. Through training and international workshops National Societies are prepared to assist affected households in implementing the programmes and to demonstrate how households and communities can best use their human capital and existing resources to better their lives.

IFRC technical guidance

The IFRC offers technical expertise and skills development in support of the National Society staff and volunteers on the ground which again is crucial for enhancing community initiatives. As a grassroots organization and through its day-to-day engagement with communities and their local formal and informal organizations, the IFRC uses this opportunity to coordinate with others and address the specific agenda of enhancing local partnerships.

By enhancing the capacity of targeted National Societies in assessment, programme design, monitoring, and evaluation of long-term food security, nutrition and livelihoods programmes through training of trainers, the IFRC Secretariat enables them to effectively engage in addressing hunger and malnutrition and to be more proactive to scale up existing programmes.

The IFRC Secretariat strengthens National Societies’ capacity through experience-based learning, training, and technical assistance in the form of documenting and disseminating better practices and lessons learned and ensuring that guidance, tools and other materials that incorporate global best practices are available for National Societies. Through national or international workshops trainers and experts also share their experience from other projects across the country or from other countries. The IFRC Secretariat also promotes internal/external technical linkages and partnerships, supports resource mobilization for programming and fosters local capacity in policy engagement and strategic positioning at all levels. Promoting programme quality by ensuring that global best practice is reflected and clear linkages with risk reduction are integrated in the IFRC`s guidance and in programme planning (i.e. drought risk reduction, sustainable management of natural resources, climate change) is also part of the Secretariat`s work in support of the work on the ground.