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The European Union (EU) and United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have today handed over a crucial food security monitoring system to the Government of Nepal.

The Nepal Food Security Monitoring System, or NeKSAP, was established in 2009 with the aim of collecting and analysing food security information to help authorities take action to prevent human suffering due to food insecurity.

NeKSAP, which is jointly operated by the Ministry of Agricultural Development and WFP under the guidance of the National Planning Commission and with the support from the EU, was built on a food security monitoring system established by WFP in 2002.

A handover ceremony held in Kathmandu today marked the final phase of the Government taking ownership of NeKSAP. Going forward, the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD) will operate and manage the system.

"Decision-makers need accurate, timely information in order to determine how best to react to threats to food security at the local level. NeKSAP can provide that information," said Pippa Bradford, WFP Representative and Country Director in Nepal. "NeKSAP can help identify the neediest communities after a disaster, such as last year's earthquake. It also makes it possible to identify emerging food security situations before they turn into a crisis, such as the current drought in the Karnali."

The system will benefit a large section of the Nepalese population by enabling timely interventions by the government and relief agencies during times of crisis and contribute towards enhanced evidence-based policy and programmes, such as the Agriculture Development Strategy and Multi-Sector Nutrition Plan.

"Food security is essential for a dignified life. NeKSAP records relevant data and information across the country to address food insecurity. After the big earthquakes last year, NeKSAP intelligence helped to rapidly get vital information for rescue and humanitarian assistance," said Andreas Roettger, Head of Cooperation, European Union Delegation in Nepal. "The EU has been proud to be a part of the NeKSAP initiative and we look forward that this tool continues to be instrumental in addressing food insecurity and contributing towards sustainable solutions," he further added.

"Over the past four years, NeKSAP has been institutionalized to enhance the Government of Nepal's ability to monitor, analyze and communicate about the food security situation in the country, and to use this information to design, plan, and implement evidence-based food security policies and programmes," said Uttam Kumar Bhattarai, Secretary, Ministry of Agricultural Development. "The NeKSAP Procedural Guidelines, which have been submitted to the Cabinet for approval, will further consolidate the considerable progress we have made in fully integrating NeKSAP into the Government of Nepal," Bhattarai added.

What is NeKSAP?

Nepal Food Security Monitoring System, or Nepal Khadhya Surakshya Anugaman Pranali.

- Initiated by WFP in 2002 as a field surveillance system, NeKSAP was later established in 2009 and has been jointly operated by WFP, the Ministry of Agricultural Development and National Planning Commission, with funding from the European Union.

- Aims to provide information on food security and rural livelihood conditions, to help the government and relief/development organisations respond better to crises and make evidence-based policy decisions.

- Uses District Food Security Networks (DFSN) comprising more than 2,500 experts from district-level government bodies, UN agencies, national and international NGOs, civil society organisations and the private sector, to monitor and analyse food security data at the sub-district level. Currently operating in 74 of 75 districts in Nepal.

- Produces periodic food security bulletins and maps including: Nepal Food Security Bulletin; Crop Situation Update (with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); Market Watch (in coordination with the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) and Consumer's Interest Protection Forum. Also produces other in-depth analytical reports on food security.

- Reports sent to Government officials at national, regional and district level, as well as the donor, humanitarian and development community.

Source: United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), June 2016
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