Why a Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis in Ghana?
There is a wealth of information available in Ghana. Numerous nationwide surveys are conducted on a regular basis, such as the Ghana Living Standard Survey (GLSS), the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) and the Demographic Health Survey (DHS). The Food Security Monitoring System (FSMS) which is jointly operated by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), MoH and WFP, provides monthly updates on food security related information collected in three northern regions. In addition there have been and continue to be informative research initiatives related to food security carried out by the World Bank (WB), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER), among others.
With the aim to provide a clearer picture of how Ghanaians access food and the difficulties they face, the survey was to draw from this rich pool of information, further build on it and enrich it with updated information collected at the grass root.
The first WFP CFSVA was carried out in 2004, however, it was limited to five regions in the country, including Ashanti, Central, Northern, Upper East and Upper West. Apart from the need for updated information, it was deemed necessary to find out more about the food security status in the entire country and go beyond the Northern Savannah zone. Concerns were expressed about potential pockets of food insecurity in other areas of the country. Furthermore, in the wake of rising food and fuel prices and the global financial crisis, it was necessary to better understand the potential impact of those new developments on Ghanaians' general welfare and household food security, in both, rural and urban areas.
The availability of updated baseline information on the food security situation in the country is meant to inform, guide and fine-tune ongoing and future interventions of all stakeholders, most importantly those of the government, whose mandate is to eradicate persisting hunger and achieve the MDGs. This was to be done by highlighting areas and population groups experiencing difficulties in accessing sufficient and nutritious food and provide recommendations regarding most appropriate assistance that would make a difference in their lives. In addition, the survey findings will be the basis to further improve the existing FSMS which tracks changes in the food security situation and provides advanced notice of a deterioration of a situation.