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Shirley Gatenio Gabel Appears at ICSW Food Insecurity Conference


Graduate School of Social Service Professor and Mary Ann Quaranta Chair for Social Justice for Children Shirley Gatenio Gabel, Ph.D., recently appeared at an ICSW international conference focused on food and nutrition insecurity.

The conference, titled “Addressing food insecurity in Africa: strategies for ensuring child-sensitive social protection” took place virtually on September 9. Other organizers and partners included UNICEF, IASSW, IFAD, ILO, KNCSW and UNED.

An overview of the conference is below:

Food and nutrition security is one of the key issues among the development priorities of many African countries. The existing food insecurity in Africa is a huge and complex challenge that is closely linked to the risk of malnutrition, health care, education, political stability, poverty as well as overall national development priorities and directions. Gaining a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of the challenge of food insecurity especially its complex impact on children can facilitate concerted actions and better targeting of interventions by national governments, international bodies and civil society organizations.

Addressing a range of specific issues in the context of food security and child-sensitive social protection in Africa, the conference will provide perspective on areas of particular importance, including the role of key stakeholders and their interaction. There are roughly two major sets of issues to address.

  • First, conceptual and general issues pertinent to food insecurity in Africa, analysis of vulnerabilities, measures aimed at promoting inclusive growth, efforts aimed at strengthening cooperation with various stakeholders and strategies to improve capacity development.
  • Second, national case studies that may illustrate changing approaches to the above issues, various dimensions of the existing situation and national best practices.

The projected outcome could bring an improved understanding of the whole spectrum of policy issues and trade-offs in the context of food security and child–sensitive social protection in Africa and could be used by ICSW and partners in their advocacy and policy advice.


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