Eswatini (University of Eswatini) UNESWA signs Memorandum of Agreement with the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office and the World Food Programme

MBABANE – On Thursday 08 September 2022 at the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, UNESWA signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office (DPMO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) aimed at enhancing work and investment in resilience building for the vulnerable population of the Kingdom. The main objective of the initiative is to build and to strengthen the resilience of the society to ensure that when disaster strikes, communities are able to withstand the impact.

Speaking on behalf of the DPMO was the Principal Secretary, Mr. Melusi Masuku who mentioned that the DPM’s Office had been working with the two institutions in the past on a number of initiatives with the aim of improving the livelihood of EmaSwati. Some of the initiatives include vulnerability assessment, technical support in analysing cross-cutting issues and assisting Government in challenges relating to food security.

In his speech, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Justice Thwala acknowledged the partnership among the three institutions and the contribution s of UNESWA which mostly focused “in improving the livelihoods of our communities through research and community-based projects and interventions.” In the partnership, the University has continued to provide technical support through the Department of Geography, Environmental Science and Planning (GEP) through seminars and workshops on research and technology relating to food security analysis and monitoring, vulnerability assessment analysis and the integrated food security phase classification, as well as the planning and implementation of the Seasonal Livelihood Programming initiative, among others.

“Though the MoA the University was further committing to continue providing support, conducting research, developing short courses, identifying overall implementation issues and leading the execution of the 3-Pronged Approach (3PA) process in collaboration with the two other partners, among others.”

The aim of the 3PA is to strengthen the design, planning and implementation of programmes in resilience building, safety nets, DRR and preparedness. It comprises of the;

Integrated Context Analysis (ICA), which uses GIS and remote sensing technology to identify historically vulnerable and food insecure areas. In the Kingdom, 19 Tinkhundlas were identified to be in priority 4, which are areas that have high food security & vulnerability issues.
Seasonal Livelihoods Programming (SLP), a consultative process being down across the 19 Tinkhundlas identified as historically vulnerable and food insecure.
Community-based Participatory Programme (CBPP), which involves community level consultation.
In return, UNESWA will benefit student internships with WFP, knowledge exchange and staff training.
The Acting Head of Office (HOO) at WFP, Mr. Melusi Kunene mentioned that the signing of the MOA was confirmation that WFP was still willing to partner with His Majesty’s Government. He further mentioned that, currently, WFP is working with Government in providing food to Neighbourhood Care Points (NCPs) and the intention is to make NCPs a production hub. WFP is currently feeding 55 000 orphaned and vulnerable children through 1500 NCPs. Mr. Kunene further reported that WFP had completed the NCP Strategy, and was working with the Government on vulnerability assessment. The acting HOO further welcomed the University’s proposition to provide tailor-made programmes on disaster management, and that as WFP, they looked forward to working with students on internship.

A Memorandum of Agreement was then signed among the three institutions.