Press release by International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

The Ministry of Agricultural Development, Nepal (MoAD), with the support of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), has launched a new online Food Security Information System to map and visualize patterns of food security, poverty and malnutrition in Nepal.

This new online Food Security Information System is an update of the 2010 food security atlas. This latest online system includes easy-to-read data regarding regular food security indicators, monthly food market prices, and interactive graphics that indicate levels of food security to the sub-district level.

The online system will allow policymakers, government agencies, and relevant stakeholders to gain a better understanding of where issues of hunger and food insecurity are most severe and aid in identifying the potential underlying factors.

“The government of Nepal recognizes food security as a fundamental human right,” expressed Dr. Suroj Pokhrel, Secretary, MoAD. “Our newly developed food security information system will help us compile, analyse and disseminate important food security information, and assist local authorities to identify, prepare and provide aid to vulnerable people in a timely manner. In the long run, this system will help us formulate policies and relief efforts based on reliable and current data. This system is a positive step forward to mitigate the adverse effects of hunger and food insecurity in Nepal.”

The collaboration between MoAD, WFP and ICIMOD was instrument in building this new online mapping platform, according to Pippa Bradford, WFP Representative and Country Director in Nepal: “We hope it will provide a foundation for developing comprehensive food security plans.”

David Molden, Director General at ICIMOD, noted that the system will have particular importance for mountain communities where food insecurity is acute.  “The system is a good example of interagency cooperation towards achieving Goal 2 of the Sustainable Development Goals, and will contribute significantly towards making food security information easily accessible.” Molden said ICIMOD would work with other line agencies in ICIMOD’s eight regional member countries to replicate these solutions.

During the launch event, the team demonstrated how MoAD officials can use the interactive mapping platform to view and generate information by districts and sub-districts.  The team will also roll out a system orientation package for government officials at the national and sub-national levels.

The online system has been developed under the SERVIR Hindu Kush Himalaya (SERVIR-HKH) initiative at ICIMOD, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). UK aid funding from the UK government has remained critical for backstopping the capacity of Nepal Food Security Monitoring system (NeKSAP).

Photo: DFAT (CC BY 2.0)