Resilience, food security, and nutrition

Résilience, sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle

Access to sufficient and quality food is a fundamental human right. However, extreme weather and climate events (droughts, floods, heatwaves, etc.) as well as spikes in food prices, health and security crises and the associated displacement of people, continue to affect the most vulnerable and poorest populations in West Africa. Over the past five years, this region has experienced a rapid increase in the number of food-insecure people and a change in the areas usually affected. The number of vulnerable people in need of food assistance has risen from 10.7 million to 42 million between 2019 and 2023.

Providing support to these poor and vulnerable populations to cope with short-term shocks is no longer sufficient. It is absolutely essential to take measures to strengthen their resilience and their food and nutritional security, especially in the agro-sylvo-pastoral and fisheries sector, which is the primary sector of activity for these affected populations. In order to address food and nutrition crises in a sustainable manner while supporting people’s ability to cope with shocks, ECOWAS has set up several instruments, including the Regional Food Security Reserve and the Regional Agricultural and Food Security Investment Plan.

Combating food and nutrition insecurity requires a multisectoral approach, which is why The technologies developed by agricultural research and agro-climatic information are helping to increase productivity and agro-sylvo-pastoral and fisheries production (Axis 1) and to improve access to food (Axis 3). Interventions related to regional integration and trade contribute to creating an enabling environment for the development of inclusive and competitive agricultural and agri-food value chains (axis 2). The development of public-private partnerships and the strengthening of technical and managerial capacities of actors in the agro-sylvo-pastoral and fisheries sector will help to improve the business environment and governance of the agricultural and agri-food sector (axis 4).

Multisectorality involves the participation of various stakeholders, including: i) stakeholders of the public sector such as countries and their regional organizations (ECOWAS, UEMOA, CILSS, CORAF), ii) organizations representing stakeholders in different agro-sylvo-pastoral and fisheries value chains at both national and regional levels (POs, private sector, associations of stakeholders in various segments of the value chains, etc.), and iii) Non-Governmental Organizations as well as Technical and Financial Partners that support the development of agro-sylvo-pastoral and fisheries value chains.

All these stakeholders are operational on the ground thanks to the support of several regional programs and projects, including the West Africa food system resilience Program (PRSA/FSRP), the Social safety nets project (school canteens), the Project for Improving Resilience, Food Security and Nutrition Governance, and Sustainable Agriculture in West Africa (PAGR-SANAD), the Support Project for the interim phase of the West Africa food security stockholding project (STOCKS II ECOWAS), the Support Project for the Local Milk Initiative in West Africa (PAOLAO), the Research and Innovation Project for Productive, Resilient, and Healthy Agropastoral Systems in West Africa (PRISMA), the Regional Agricultural Market Integration Program (PRIMA), the Resilience Strengthening for Food and Nutrition Security in the Sahel-Phase 2 (P2-P2RS), and the Project for Strengthening Resilience to Food Insecurity (PRRIA).

Key technical and financial partners supporting this thematic area include the World Bank, the European Union, USAID, AFD, AECID, AfDB, IsDB, and UEMOA, among others.