Samoa to Strengthen Disaster Response Policies through Data-Driven Decisions

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The World Food Programme and Government of Samoa hold the first-ever technical workshop in Samoa, strengthening capacities and bolstering market monitoring for food security.

WFP partnered with Samoa’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) and the University of South Pacific to conduct a two-day workshop on critical market assessments that will enable data driven decision-making for disaster response policies in Samoa.

As the Pacific is gripped by frequent climate shocks and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, amidst growing global food insecurity – understanding the function of local markets and how price fluctuations can affect people’s food security will help to implement effective social protection policies.

The technical inception workshop attended by local government officers, civil society organisations, managers of municipal markets and UN agencies aims to establish a Price Monitoring System that will analyse trends and price fluctuations of critical and non-food items as well as the Market Functionality Index and the Minimum Expenditure Basket.

“During these difficult times with prolonged effects from global crisis, it is vital that relevant monitoring and assessment tools are utilised to determine the level of food and nutrition security in Samoa. The availability of reliable and timely data is encouraged to support evidence-based decision making and policy formulation, “ said Mr Tilafono David Hunter, CEO of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of Samoa.

“The Government of Samoa through the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries wishes to acknowledge the continued support of the UN World Food Programme in the development of the Agriculture and Fisheries sector.”

“Local markets are the most fundamental reflection of the food security conditions of any country. Through these critical market assessments and analyses we can inform social protection policies that reflect the needs of the most vulnerable people as accurately as possible, especially after a disaster, “said Mr Alpha Bah, Country Director of WFP’s Pacific Multi-Country Office.

“Data- driven decision making is at the heart of WFP’s research and monitoring programmes in the Pacific and we are grateful to have joined forces with the Government of Samoa and the University of South Pacific to safeguard household food security in Samoa and design effective disaster response measures,” he added.

WFP also handed over 20 tablets to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to strengthen capacity in digital data collection that will streamline the Ministry’s data management channels.

About WFP

The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.