This section provides an overview of coordination and advocacy, clarifying the difference among the two and the work that ECHO, on behalf of the Commission, is doing in these fields. Examples of activities include the cluster approach, the COHAFA and the Food Assistance Convention.

Coordination aims at organising activities in order to make them working together smoothly. As stated in the Communication on Humanitarian Food Assistance, effective integration of humanitarian and development assistance will be promoted through LRRD, ensuring that the international aid system operates consistently, coherently and transparently. At policy level, the Commission strives to ensure full coherence and complementarity between its humanitarian food assistance policy, other EU humanitarian policies and guidelines, and related development frameworks. Coordination is also promoted among the EU member states and with relevant national and local actors, as well as within the food security cluster. Advocacy is directed to state actors to fulfil their fundamental responsibility in safeguarding the food security of their people and to development actors (including governments), specifically in relation to the developmental needs of populations in crisis contexts.

It is increasingly understood that chronic food insecurity and emergency food or nutrition needs arising from transient food insecurity are often interlinked and over-layered.

With a broader range of concerns, and with responses that are more inter-related with the development agenda, the Commission’s approach implies a great responsibility to coordinate its work with others.

The Commission will ensure that needs are addressed in an integrated way to prevent duplications and gaps in assistance, to ensure continuity, to maximise sustainability.

Close coordination is promoted with other international donors and national actors in line with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action.

At policy-level, the Commission will strive to ensure full coherence and complementarity between its humanitarian food assistance policy, other EU humanitarian policies and guidelines, and related development policy frameworks, particularly those focusing on food-security, nutrition, social transfers, social protection, and disaster-risk reduction.
The Commission coordinates with EU Member States on humanitarian food assistance issues in the Council Working Group on Humanitarian Aid and Food Aid (COHAFA).

COHAFA is the main forum within the EU for strategic and policy debate on humanitarian aid. The group meets monthly and calls for additional emergency meetings in response to a major sudden crises.
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Coordination and cooperation with EU Member States and other major humanitarian donors will also be maximised at all levels to ensure that financing decisions can be made on the basis of actual, unmet needs, factoring in all anticipated funding and expected assistance strategies provided by other donors and actors. In pursuit of well-coordinated strategies, as well in the spirit of good humanitarian donorship, the Commission will participate actively within joint donor fora, initiatives and exercises (including needs-assessments and evaluations).

The Commission encourages the full participation of its humanitarian food assistance partners in “inclusive, sector-specific, operational coordination forums at field level. This includes close coordination with relevant and viable national and local humanitarian actors”.
The Commission “supports the idea of inclusive coordination under strong and capacitated leadership.
Within the framework of UN and Humanitarian Reform, the Commission endorses the cluster approach to coordination, and supports all efforts to make it work effectively for the food and nutrition sectors.
Find more about the Cluster approach, the Food Security Cluster and the Nutrition Cluster.

Joint Humanitarian Development Framework (JHDF) 1/2

JHDF is an opportunity to break the silos between humanitarian and development stakeholders including donors.
It includes:
Joint Assessment and Response Analysis between Humanitarian and Development actors. Identify themes, sectors, targeting, common interest based on mandate. Analyze complementarities eventually. Brainstorm, planning and decisions on how humanitarian and development actors could complement each other’s strategy. Offering options for policy makers and practitioners to translate theory into practice.   A simple but essential step for both humanitarian and developments actors to better understand each other. Joint monitoring mission should be done routinely since they offer a good opportunity to build-up a bottom-up approach to learn from field experiences.

Joint Humanitarian Development Framework (JHDF) 2/2

Advocacy for increased efficiency

The Commission will also contribute to the EU action in framing a global agenda, and in advocating for actions against hunger and under-nutrition in collaboration with other international partners. This includes advocating for the most efficient and effective use of resources, including the use of varied food assistance response options, according to the needs.

Since tied food-aid is often deemed to compromise efficiency, appropriateness and effectiveness, advocacy to secure the complete untying of food aid, in line with the EU position within the Doha round of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) trade talks is needed. It also includes advocating for chronic needs in stable contexts to be met with predictable, multi-annual resources (and not, by implication, humanitarian resources) delivered preferably through national government-led social protection and safety net programmes, through expanded rural development and poverty reduction actions, or through other long-term actions aimed at reducing chronic malnutrition.

The Food Assistance Convention (FAC): the latest multilateral instrument in the field of food assistance

The EU allocates its humanitarian resources on the basis of need, and not on the basis of predetermined commitments, some of the humanitarian food assistance resources that it provides contribute to, and are reported against, the Commission’s portion of the EU commitment under the Food Aid Convention (FAC).
In 2014 the Commission surpassed its commitment of 300 million Euro and the commitment for2015 is 350 Million Euro.
The Commission will advocate for the FAC to promote the most effective and appropriate use of resources disbursed from within FAC commitments, according to the needs of the most vulnerable, in line with humanitarian principles and best humanitarian food assistance practice, and in a way that is coherent with its own policy framework.
In 2015, the DG ECHO on behalf of the EU Commission chairs the FAC.
Find more about the FAC here.

What are the current priorities for the ECHO Food Assistance Group PANIS?

PANIS is ECHO internal group of experts dealing with HFA. The current strategy for 2015-2017 focuses on the following areas:
Roll out and dissemination of the HFA Policy
Multi-Purpose Cash Transfers/ Basic Needs Approach
Social Protection and Humanitarian Response
HFA and Nutrition
HFA and protection
El Nino Response
Urban settings

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