The Food Security Consortium (FSC) is made up of nine non-governmental organisations (NGOs). It works in food relief, food security, and development activities. The Consortium is under the leadership — and umbrella — of Swaziland’s peak body for NGOs, the Coordinating Assembly of Non-Governmental Organisations (CANGO).
The Food Security Consortium was founded in 1995. It grew out of efforts by Swaziland’s Government and the NGO sector to deal with the effects of drought — which was hurting the country in early 1990s. Since then, the members of the Consortium have been actively involved in the distribution of food aid and development to drought stricken communities.
The members of the Consortium are:
- Africa Cooperative Action Trust
- Baphalali Swaziland Red Cross Society
- Caritas Swaziland
- Lutheran Development Service
- Save the Children Swaziland
- World Vision Swaziland, and
- CANGO is the Secretariat of the Consortium
The activities of the Consortium initially included emergency drought relief and food aid under the World Food Programme (WFP); as well as food-for-work drought relief activities and drought rehabilitation and mitigation, which has been supported through funding by the Swaziland Government as well as other development agencies including the European Union, the British Government, and the Government of Taiwan.
The Consortium, however, has expressed concerns that much of their efforts appear to be directed to drought relief activities, with little being done to rehabilitate communities and assist them to develop coping mechanisms against future droughts to ensure food security — especially for the most vulnerable members of Swaziland rural communities.
The Consortium wants to address this urgent need of the people in drought prone areas, by building on the Consortium’s joint experience in drought relief, regular operations, and the close working relationships with communities built over the years.
The concept of a food security consortium came from relevant Stakeholders’ — NGO’s, WFP, NDTF — mutual decision, evolving from the WFP’s need to partner with a coordinated response. This served as a catalyst in the formation of other consortiums within the CANGO membership.
The effective management of relief efforts countrywide by NGOs address the overlapping of programmes. The Consortium is developing a streamlined approach to effectively address the challenges presented by the persistence of drought. Initially it was thought that relief activities would be a short-term intervention in the cycle of food security, however this has proven wrong.
Role of the of Food Security Consortium
The role of the Consortium embraces a development framework which necessitates a visible impact as a development partner, an identification of a strategic niche as NGOs, and the use of a people-driven approach that embraces people’s choices.
- A partnership amongst members of CANGO involved in Food Security
- Networking on food security issues
- Peer monitoring through a Joint Accountability Framework
- Accountability through Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and FSC Code of Conduct
- The FSC Member Representative is mandated by his/her Board, as the Director, to execute decisions made at that level
- Decisions are operational in nature
- In a position to influence those making higher level decisions
- Activities aligned to the individual member organisations overall programmes
- Collective activities such as writing proposals. CANGO becomes custodian of funds, and the MOU to assign roles and responsibilities especially for long-term / recovery activities
- Currently don’t do collective fund-raising, but recognise this opportunity
- Is it linked to CANGO as they provide secretariat support?
- Would expect CANGO to provide M&E component
Sustained quality of livelihoods of all vulnerable people in Swaziland
“The FSC is a leading network of Non-Governmental Organisations that mobilizes, engages, and partners with communities, cooperating partners, and government to ensure sustainable livelihoods of the most vulnerable people in Swaziland and mitigation of Climate Change and strong environmental management.”