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Responding to multi-layered crises driving food insecurity in cities: Lessons from Ukraine, Ethiopia, Colombia and Jordan

Isis Nunez Ferrera



Wednesday, June 29, 2022


Multifunction Hall Room 4
United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
Equitable urban futures
NE 104


Urban crises are becoming more frequent, layered, and protracted in nature. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukrainian conflict - both playing out in urban areas - have brought renewed attention to vulnerable, food insecure, and poor urban populations and their precarious livelihoods.

Urban crises can decimate industries, livelihoods, and years of development gains. They can also put pressure on critical infrastructure and services, with devastating consequences on people’s livelihoods, and their capacity to meet their basic needs, including having access to adequate and enough food.

This networking event, hosted by the UN World Food Programme, will bring together key stakeholders at the forefront of urban crisis response in Ethiopia, Ukraine, and Colombia, represented by national and local governments, and humanitarian and development organisations. These actors responded promptly to crises in cities while enabling local capacities and more inclusive urban systems, including through social protection, cash assistance, financial and social inclusion, and women’s empowerment.

The event will be structured as follows:

1. Setting the scene - WFP provide an overview of the impact of various types of urban crises on people’s purchasing power and their ability to meet basic needs, and the importance of supporting and enabling local actors and systems. 

2. Panel discussion I - Country perspectives - Government representatives and practitioners from humanitarian and development organisations will discuss concrete examples and lessons from urban crises response in Ukraine, Ethiopia and Colombia.

3. Panel discussion II - Global and regional perspectives - - Representatives from the World Bank, the African Union, and UN-Habitat will share the latest thinking on social assistance during emergencies, the linkages to national urban policies, and reflect on how responses to food insecurity during crises can be better leveraged as part of a wider urban development effort.

WFP will close the event with a call for action and summary of actions to further localise SDG2 and SDG11 in urban areas.


The objectives of this dialogue are:

1. Provide concrete examples on how national, local and international stakeholders work together to respond to the plight of the urban poor and food insecure during crises, including examples in conflict and displacement settings, and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

2. Raise global awareness on the importance of localising efforts on achieving zero hunger (SDG2) in cities as part of the overall urban development agenda. This includes a prompt humanitarian response to ensure food security and nutrition during crises, while supporting national and local programmes and development efforts

3. Translate the lessons emerging from urban crises response into concrete actions for localising SDG2 and SDG11 in cities, in the run towards to 2030.

Session speakers

Mr. Samir Wanmali
Deputy Director Programme - Humanitarian and Development Division, Former Country Director WFP Ukraine Response
United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
Ms. Fanny Melina Gutierrez Garzon
Director of Territorial Development, Secretary for Social Integration
Mayor's Office of Bogotá
Mr. Issaka Garba Abdou
Coordinator on Public Service, Local Government, Urban Development and Urbanisation
African Union Secretariat
Mr. Ato Tesfaye Shiferaw Bongase
Coordinator Productive Safety Nets
Ministry of Women and Social Affairs
Dr. Ellen Hamilton
Lead Urban Specialist for the Urban, Resilience and Land Global Practice
World Bank
Mr. Filiep Decorte
Chief Programme Development, and Director of Emergencies (a.i)
Mr. Jesse Wood
Chief Emergency and Transitions
United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
Dr. Isis Nunez Ferrera
Head of Urban Programming
United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)