Building Resilience in Africa’s Drylands
Frequent shocks have eroded agricultural productivity across much of Africa, undermining the food security of over 800 million people who rely on crops, livestock, fisheries and forests for their livelihoods.
Those most exposed include smallholder farmers, pastoralists and agropastoralists living in Africa’s drylands, where recurrent drought cycles, conflict, socio-economic crises and transboundary plant and animal pests and diseases exacerbate high levels of poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition.
FAO’s resilience initiative in the region therefore focuses on strengthening the resilience of vulnerable people in these drylands to threats and crises. The approach builds on existing experience and involves strong collaboration with similar activities and partnerships in the region, such as the Global Alliance for Resilience Initiative (AGIR) in the Sahel and the Supporting Horn of Africa Resilience (SHARE) initiatives.
FAO is committed to promoting resilience policies and strategies that address the different needs and experiences of men, women, boys and girls and promote equal access to and control over resources and incomes.
The initiative focuses on increasing resilience in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger), the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan) and Southern Africa (Zimbabwe). FAO’s approach involves:
- Strengthening institutional capacity and policy development for risk prevention/reduction and resilience
- Monitoring risk and providing early warning (e.g. through tools such as Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, Cadre harmonisé and Resilience Index Measurement and Analysis); as well managing transboundary threats
- Community-level resilience building and vulnerability reduction articulated around three pillars: technology, financial and social (e.g climate-smart agriculture, sustainable natural resource management, village savings and loans, community contingency funds and community empowerment)
- Preparing to respond when shocks are unavoidable – contingency planning, emergency response interventions, and coordination
- Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
- Permanent Interstates Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS)
- Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
- Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)
- Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC)
- Southern African Development Community (SADC)
- Africa Solidarity Trust Fund (ASTF)
- European Union
- United States of America
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- World Bank
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
- Research institutes
- UN agencies (World Food Programme, International Fund for Agricultural Development, United Nations Children’s Fund)