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Management response to the recommendations of the Synthesis Summary Report of the joint UNHCR/WFP impact evaluations on the contribution of food assistance to durable solutions in protracted refugee situations

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  1. This document constitutes a joint management response to the recommendations made in a synthesis of four impact evaluations on food assistance for refugees in protracted situations, commissioned by WFP’s Office of Evaluation and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) Policy Development and Evaluation Service.

  2. The evaluations were undertaken to provide an evidence base for future organizational strategies regarding how food assistance can contribute to refugee livelihoods and self-reliance, thereby supporting the wider search for solutions to protracted refugee situations.

  3. The following definitions are used in this document:

a) A livelihood comprises the capabilities, assets – including social and physical assets – activities and opportunities required for a means of living. A livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from stress and shocks, and maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets.

b) Self-reliance is the ability of people, households or communities to meet their basic needs, including food and nutrition, and enjoy social and economic rights in a sustainable and dignified manner. Self-reliance is a positive livelihoods outcome.

c) A durable solution for refugees is attained when refugees are able to avail themselves of the protection of a state by means of voluntary repatriation to their country of origin, local integration in their country of asylum, or resettlement in a third country that has agreed to admit them on a permanent basis.

  1. A core aspect of the joint work of WFP and UNHCR is ensuring that durable solutions are complemented by support that facilitates self-reliance and sustainable livelihoods.

  2. At a high-level meeting (HLM) between UNHCR and WFP held on 9 January 2013, management welcomed the evaluation and agreed that it provided compelling evidence of the need for all parties to renew their commitment to supporting the attainment of durable solutions for refugees in protracted situations. The HLM also reiterated the importance of placing the recommendations and related responses into historical context, recognizing that many of the issues raised by the synthesis evaluation have been on the international community’s agenda for many years.

  3. The joint responses to the recommendations are presented in the attached matrix.