A workshop that brought together relevant stakeholders across the food system in the Solomon Islands for an open dialogue and exchange of ideas on the impacts of COVID-19 was held on Tuesday 17th and Thursday 19th November at the IBS Hotel.
It was organised to ensure participants share information and engage in discussions on the ongoing government and non-government food security and nutrition issues and initiatives in the COVID-19 pandemic, assess what data we have, what data we need and who is collecting it and how to access it. Identify gaps and brainstorm possible innovative solutions and devise ways and /or what to do in the future.
“The workshop was organized and designed to bring together stakeholders to discuss the implications of COVID-19 and the responses that the country does and identify ways forward.
“We lived through the impacts of COVID-19, but we fail to record them and how to resolve the impacts. The two day forum is to ensure invited participants attend and share their experiences and knowledge. It was also to identify data, reports and publications, gaps to fill and ways forward,” FAO /FIRST National Policy Officer, Nichol Nonga said.
He said that, it is also crucial for everyone to gain common understanding of what data/policy is available and where gaps are, to ensure programmes and decisions are evidence-based.
Mr. Nonga added that from the workshop they will be able to plan the way forward, exploring ways in which the meeting conclusions can inform the government and development partners COVID-19 responses.
“At the completion of the workshop we will be compiling a report to be shared with the wider stakeholders and to inform the Livelihood Sector Committee (LSC) Action Framework, briefing papers and plans for improving the food and nutrition security of the Solomon Islands population in COVID-19 times. Similarly, the information so gathered will supplement other like reports that MAL, line ministries, NGOs, and development partners may need to formulate their medium and long term strategies in response to COVID-19,”Mr. Nonga further added.
He said that this type of workshop is vital for government and stakeholders to identify evidence based resolutions to the impacts of COVID-19.
Mr. Nonga thanked all participants in what they have shared and contributed towards in sharing their ideas, experiences and evidences adding the way forwards /way ahead as identified by the participants in the workshop would be useful for the development of the country’s food and nutrition security aspirations . The workshop is funded and facilitated by FAO /Food and Nutrition Security Impacts, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation (FIRST) Programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) and the Livelihood Sector Committee (LSC).