Food and nutritional security is a concept which covers a large range of parameters linked to public health, the economy, sociology, agronomy, governance, etc. Support interventions of the F4F programme contribute to food security by acting on one or several of the four pillars of food and nutritional security.
The 4 pillars of food security
Availability: It is the quantity of food physically present on a given territory. Availability stems from three sources: production, imports, food assistance as well as storage capacities, transformation, transport and the distribution of various foods. Some households have direct access to a part of their nutritional needs by producing or harvesting food. Others have access to the distribution mechanisms. Most rural households combine various arrangements.
Accessibility: Food availability is not enough, people need to be able to access it, whether by having the means and the right to buy, receive or share. Everyone does not necessarily have a legal access to available food. There is a social and economic dimension.
Utilization: Food must be safe, nutritional and ensure a healthy diet. Many households have access to food but not always in the conditions required to ensure their health. There can also be persons who do not know basic principles for having a healthy diet, even if the food is accessible.
Stability: Stability is the temporal dimension of food and nutritional security. Many households experience considerable fluctuations. Factors which can affect stability are climatic (draught, floods, natural disasters), technical (storing and preservation capacity) and socio-economical (revenues fluctuations, access to distribution systems).
Our 7 ways to strengthen the pillars of the SAN
The F4F programme intervenes on 7 complementary and strategic axes:
1. Enhance food production
F4F intervenes to enhance food availability by supporting better conditions for the production of food. The support of small businesses is essential given the fact that rural areas are the most affected by food shortages.
2. Strengthen supply chains
The programme actions strengthen and develop supply chains and makes them sustainable value chains in the long-term. This strategic axis targets households producing food (farmers, livestock owners, processors) and all actors in the supply chain.
3. Enhance food access
The interventions target the capacity of households and their members to generate monetary revenues enhancing their food access. For the whole of economically active households, the F4F programme enhances and safeguards revenues.
4. Enhance nutrition and hygiene
The F4F programme ensure the nutritional value of food, in particular for pregnant or nursing women and for children with less than 5 years, as well as the hygiene conditions. This domain includes training activities, enhancing nutritional value of available and accessible food and understanding the principles of a safe and healthy diet.
5. Strengthen women's role in food security
Studies have confirmed that this is one of the axes with the most impact. By enhancing women’s participation in the governance of the local food system, this allows the access to sufficient food for all the household members.
6. Strengthen system resilience
Specific interventions are necessary to ensure resilience to stress situations such as climate change adaptation and demographic pressure. This axis includes the prevention and management of crises, with the implementation of strategies combining emergency aid, recovery and the development and reduction of disasters risks.
7. Enhance the governance of the food system
the condition for food governance condition the efficiency of the F4F interventions by promoting the political, legal and institutional framework, by organizing the surveillance of food security, by coordinating the different actors and by channelling resources and assessing results.