The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the National Strategic Institute for Strategic Studies (NISS) have developed an innovative online platform which can forecast food security crises before they become critical. The system, which collects and analyses massive amounts of food price data, provides early warning so that governments can take action before it is too late.
The Safety Nets Alert Platform (SNAP) creates multiple food security scenarios based on food price spikes caused by natural disasters, conflicts or socio-economic crises. It was developed with funding from the people of Japan.
“Efficient and evidence-based food security forecasting is invaluable in ensuring a timely and effective response to critical food security situations,” said Azamat Dikambaev, the NISS Director, in Bishkek.
SNAP uses dynamic market price monitoring and analysis to detect fluctuations in food prices. The system produces simulations showing the likely impact of external shocks on household food and nutrition security.
SNAP presents results in an easy-to-understand way, enabling decision-makers to identify the social protection measures best-suited to helping vulnerable people in times of hardship.
“With an efficient monitoring system in place, the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic will be able to make informed decisions and respond to any food security risk across the country,” said WFP Representative and Country Director, Andrea Bagnoli. “Such detailed data will make it possible to address food security situations before they deteriorate.”
Integrated with the comprehensive database from the annual Kyrgyz Integrated Household Survey, SNAP provides robust food security analysis at household level. The system provides information on topics such as family income, food expenditure, and kilocalorie and nutrient consumption.
With a view to expanding the system’s functions, WFP and NISS have helped set up a working group that includes the ministries of Economy, Labour and Social Development and Emergency Situations as well as the National Statistic Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic to look at expanding the system.