November 16, 2023, Rome — The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) initiative reaches a new milestone today as it expands its global partnership to include four new partners – the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO) – and establishes a High Level Executive Committee (HLEC).
These new partners possess a wealth of experience and knowledge, which will greatly benefit the IPC global initiative.
“The expanded partnership will be critical when it comes to informing evidence-based strategies to tackle the root causes of protracted food crises and address chronic food insecurity,” said Hassan Ali Ahmed, Chair of the IPC Global Steering Committee and Action Against Hunger’s representative on the committee.
“By harnessing the collective knowledge of experts from diverse fields, the IPC aims to provide decision makers with the tools they need to make informed choices that lead to lasting food security solutions,” he added.
The expansion of the IPC global partnership comes against a backdrop of escalating conflicts, unpredictable weather patterns and fluctuating food prices – all of which are likely further intensifying the challenges surrounding food and nutrition security.
“Food crises are health crises. Disease and malnutrition form a vicious cycle, each increasing the risk of the other and threatening the health of affected populations, particularly children” said Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme. He further emphasised: “With millions facing acute hunger across the world, we must scale up action to tackle malnutrition and disease to save lives and protect people’s health.”
The World Bank affirms that strengthening international partnerships will fortify an effective and coordinated global response.
“High food prices have triggered a global food and nutrition crisis that is driving millions more into extreme poverty and threatening to erase hard-won gains in development,” said Martien van Nieuwkoop, World Bank’s Global Director for Agriculture and Food.
“Conflicts and climate change will continue to drive the number of people facing hunger. In responding to a crisis, the value of data in decision-making becomes more apparent. It allows us to act faster and collaborate more effectively,” he added.
For UNDP, the IPC Chronic Food Insecurity scale represents an opportunity to advance sustainable food systems and bolster community resilience.
“UNDP remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering sustainable food systems, advancing global food security, and building resilience among vulnerable communities. By collaborating with the IPC, UN and relief agencies, UNDP aims to create impactful, lasting solutions to address the pressing global food crisis,” said Devanand Ramiah, UNDP’s Crisis Bureau Deputy Director (a.i.).
The IPC was founded nearly 20 years ago and is now being implemented in over 30 countries – informing more than US $6 billion in food crisis response decisions annually.
“With still rising global food insecurity, IPC’s work is more important than ever. We need sound and accurate early warning systems to adequately inform preventative action to end hunger and malnutrition. It is IFPRI’s mission and obligation to support IPC fulfil this immensely important duty for humanity,” said Dr Johan Swinnen, Director-General of IFPRI.
Drs Swinnen (IFPRI) and Ryan (WHO) and Mr Nieuwkoop (World Bank) are representatives on the newly formed IPC High Level Executive Committee.
The IPC High Level Executive Committee
Coinciding with the expansion of the IPC global partnership is the establishment of a High Level Executive Committee (HLEC). The newly formed HLEC is the highest decision-making body in the IPC global governance structure. It comprises high-level representatives from IPC global partner organizations, including the newly joined organizations.
The HLEC is responsible for positioning the IPC on the global agenda and assisting the IPC initiative to overcome challenges in countries facing major food and nutrition crises.
“The IPC High Level Executive Committee is a beacon of collaborative power, driving the global effort to address the food and nutrition crises facing the world today. With its diverse expertise and the unwavering commitment of the IPC partners, the HLEC will bolster the IPC initiative in fulfilling its mandate as the global standard for food security and nutrition analysis,” said Mr Ahmed.
The role of the HLEC will complement that of the IPC Global Steering Committee (composed of senior officers representing the 19 IPC global partner organizations), which will continue to provide the overall strategic direction to the IPC initiative and is responsible for its oversight and regular functioning.