Abstract: The Famine Early Warning System (FEWS) provides the infrastructure for African countries and regional organizations to manage risk of food insecurity through the provision of timely and analytical early warning and vulnerability information. FEWS is a USAID-funded activity that collaborates with international, national, and regional partners to provide timely and rigorous early warning and ... vulnerability information on emerging or evolving food security issues.
FEWS professionals in the US and Africa monitor various data and information including remotely sensed data and ground-based meteorological, crop and rangeland conditions as early indications of potential threats to food security.
The Role of FEWS In Preventing Famines:
-It identifies specific, acute food security threats that can lead to increases in acute malnutrition, morbidity and mortality, especially among vulnerable groups.
-It monitors and facilitates timely access to information, such as crop assessments and malnutrition rates, required by public and private decision makers.
-It recommends and advocates early, preventive actions which are critical to stopping famines before they develop.
-It provides regular informational assessments to decision makers that reflect the best judgement of the food security community. (Note: early consensus on the possible parameters of an impending food crisis gives key decision-makers the confidence to commit resources early on to mitigate famine).
-It disseminates timely and accurate information to the general public and media about food security conditions. This reporting helps strengthen accountability, supports the involvement of civil society and engenders sustainable community action toward famine prevention.