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close this bookDrought and Famine - 1st edition (DHA/UNDRO - UNDP, 1992, 52 p.)
close this folderPART 3: Institutional issues
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentNational government roles
View the documentUnited Nations roles
View the documentDonor and NGO roles
View the documentRehabilitation

National government roles

Effective action by national governments is crucial to successfully implement efforts outlined above to reduce vulnerability to famines. Preparedness to mitigate the effects of famine requires that additional response capacity be sustained on an ongoing basis within the system. Where governance is ineffective, such capacity is unlikely to be maintained between famine episodes. Thus, the substantial international investment in the transport capacity of the Sudan in the mid-1980s was not sustained and is being rebuilt to cope with the 1990-91 situation.

Similarly the performance of the national government is crucial to the effectiveness of the overall response by the international community once a famine is developing. Where, as in Botswana and Kenya during the mid-1980s, a national government is prepared to take the lead in initiating its own relief program and guide the subsequent international response and where the situation is uncomplicated by conflict and severe internal political strains, the international response system works relatively effectively. Where these conditions are not met, as in the case of Sudan and Ethiopia during the mid-1980s, the international response system has frequently performed poorly.