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Strategy Development Workshop on Pandemic Preparedness and Response for Food Supply Security

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
22 October - 23 October 2012 Sunkyoung Lee Political and Economic Department ASEF Public Health Network Public Health



Venue:
Vientiane, Lao PDR

Within a “whole-of-society” approach to pandemic preparedness, the food sector is recognised as an essential service which needs to be maintained during a pandemic or any public health emergency. The complex supply chain structure of this sector and the multitude of actors involved, make it very vulnerable to disruptions. In addition, government’s strong capacity to implement related procedures and regulations has to be taken into account, as well as the technical support and coordination by public-private partnerships, international organisations and non-governmental organisation (NGOs).

To strengthen the food sector’s pandemic preparedness and response strategies, ASEF Public Health Network will organise a Strategy Development Workshop on Pandemic Preparedness and Response for Food Supply Security in Vientiane, Lao PDR on 22 - 23 October 2012.

By using the ASEF-ASAP (Accurate Scenarios Active Preparedness) scenarios as tool to analyse the food sector’s contingency planning, the panel of experts at the workshop will develop strategies to address challenges, and build and enhance partnerships with the key stakeholders.

Participants will include leading service providers in the food industry, and representatives from government institutions, international organisations and NGOs.

The key recommendations out of the workshop will be published later at this page.

This workshop, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Lao PDR, is organised with the technical assistance of Nestlé and the World Food Programme (WFP).

Partners

  • Ministry of Health of Lao PDR

Sponsors

  • Government of Japan

Project Updates

  • The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) Public Health Network, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Lao PDR, organised a Strategy Development Workshop on Pandemic Preparedness and Response for Food Supply Security in Vientiane, Lao PDR on 22 and 23 October 2012.

    A total number of 22 participants attended the workshop, representing a wide variety of sectors, including the food industry, national governments, regional, national and international organisations, the military and civil society organisations. They identified shortcomings in the pandemic preparedness plans and assessed the level of preparedness in view of possible futures by using the ASEF-ASAP scenarios. Based on this exercise, participants developed several strategic options on, for example, communicating risks and sharing resources.

    In terms of risk communications, some options included: involving academia, experts, and politicians in the risk assessment by forming a technical working group; reaching consensus on the outcome of risk assessment among those involved; and establishing strategies to communicate uncertainty. With regard to sharing resources, proposals covered: publicizing the value of sharing during the peaceful time and tailoring the compensation packages considering cases of over-report and under-report, among many others.

    The full report will be available early 2013. For more information visit www.asef.org

    This workshop was part of a series of activities under the ASEF-ASAP (Accurate Scenarios Active Preparedness) scenarios project. With a unique scenario-based approach, ASEF engages multiple stakeholders to strengthen the pandemic preparedness plans and improve the current strategies.

    Throughout 2011 and 2012, ASEF engaged multiple stakeholders in developing sectoral as well as multi-sectoral strategies for pandemic preparedness and response. At the workshops that ASEF previously organised, high-level professionals involved in human security (health, food, water, and environment) and the passenger air transport sector shared their current preparedness plans, identified gaps and developed strategic options. In 2014, ASEF will move forward to the theme of risk communications, which was highly recommended by participants in all three workshops to pursue robust plans. ASEF welcomes ideas and suggestions from key players in the fields.

    (This article was published in the ‘Towards A Safer World’ newsletter, December 2012 edition)

  • Securing food supply

    Published on 26 Nov 2012

    A total of 22 experts from the food industry, governments bodies, regional and international organisations, the military and civil society organisations, participated in the Strategy Development Workshop on Pandemic Preparedness and Response for Food Supply Security, in Vientiane, Lao PDR (22 and 23 October 2012).

    The workshop was co-organised by the ASEF Public Health Network and the Ministry of Health of Lao PDR, along with the technical support of the World Food Programme (WFP) and Nestlé. Participants used the ASEF-ASAP (Accurate Scenarios Active Preparedness) scenarios to frame expected challenges that can disrupt the functioning of the food sector in case of a possible pandemic.

    The discussions and sharing of ideas during the sessions helped the participants to come up with several strategic options to mitigate such challenges and get better prepared for pandemics by stimulating closer and stronger multi-sectoral collaboration.

    The outcomes of the workshop will be published in early 2013.

    Read more…

    Photo Gallery

  • Strategies for Food Supply Security

    Published on 01 Oct 2012

    ASEF Public Health Network is organising the 3rd Strategy Development Workshop on Pandemic Preparedness and Response in Vientiane, Lao PDR (22-23 October 2012). This upcoming workshop will focus on Food Supply Security.

    A panel of experts from the food industry, government institutions, international organisations as well as civil society organisations, will participate in this workshop. Through different sessions, they will develop a set of recommendations. These recommendations will highlight essential factors for improving the food sector’s current pandemic preparedness and response strategies.

    The functioning of different stakeholders in the food sector is highly dependent on each other. If one stakeholder is hit, the entire chain can be disrupted. This makes the food sector extremely vulnerable to pandemics or any health emergencies. Additional challenges can emerge when government regulations, for example border closings, are implemented to mitigate the impact of such emergencies.

    Under such stringent situations, smooth functioning of the food sector can only be maintained through a long-term multi-sectoral cooperation. Such collaborative approach includes public-private partnerships, and involvement of international organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

    During the workshop in Lao PDR, ASEF Public Health Network will address all aforementioned issues using ASEF-ASAP (Accurate Scenarios Active Preparedness) scenarios. ASEF-ASAP is a unique scenario-based approach that covers a range of possibilities to prepare for future pandemics and public health emergencies in Asia and Europe.

    Read more…

    Read more about previous workshops:

    Multiple sectors centred on human security including health, energy, water and food

    Passenger air transport sector

  • Food Supply Security

    Published on 06 Sep 2012

    During a public health emergency, smooth functioning of the food sector is vital. At the same time, the sector is highly vulnerable to disruptions due to the high interdependency of the players involved. Therefore, it is important for key actors from the governments, private sector, international organisations, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to work together in a co-ordinated way.

    ASEF Public Health Network will organise a Strategy Development Workshop on Pandemic Preparedness and Response for Food Supply Security in Vientiane, Lao PDR (22 - 23 October 2012). The Workshop will address issues related to preparedness and response for secured food supply particularly using ASEF-ASAP (Accurate Scenarios Active Preparedness) scenarios for pandemic preparedness.

    The participants are experts from the food industry, relevant international organisations, government institutions, and civil society organisations.

    After the workshop, the outcomes will be published on this page.

    To know more about ASEF-ASAP scenarios click here