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The priorities in the region
The food and nutrition situation in the Sahel is still of concern with the impact of recent crises in 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2012 holding back the possibilities of the people to rebuild their livelihoods. In a context of widespread poverty, population explosion, chronic vulnerability and weakened resilience, recurring crises have eroded the coping capacities and weakened the livelihoods of the already vulnerable population. In 2014, an estimated 20 million people, including those who did not receive sufficient support for their livelihoods during the last crisis, are food and nutrition insecure, and extremely vulnerable to any external shocks.
The overall priorities in the region include:
- protecting the livelihoods of the most vulnerable households;
- strengthening the resilience of pastoralists, agropastoralists and farmers;
- improving access to agricultural good-quality inputs;
- supporting the management/conservation of natural resources such as water, trees and soil;
- providing integrated emergency nutrition assistance to most vulnerable families, especially women;
- reinforce disaster risk reduction and management at local, national and regional levels;
- supporting coordination and strengthening food security information management and early warning systems.
Early, rapid action is needed to prevent further deterioration of the food security situation and avoid further weakening of livelihoods in the Sahel. In addition to emergency and rehabilitation activities, medium to longer term interventions are required to reverse the cycle of food shortages and crises in the Sahel and address structural vulnerabilities.
FAO’s funding needs in 2014 are estimated at USD 115 million for immediate support to affected farmers, agropastoralists and herders. FAO’s proposed activities are integrated in the 2014 Sahel inter-agency Humanitarian Response Plan which is a 3-year plan (2014-2016), thus reflecting a new approach to humanitarian response in the Sahel, adapted to the challenge of building the resilience of the most vulnerable population to recurrent crises.
It covers the nine following countries : Burkina Faso, Northern Cameroon, Chad, The Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Northern Nigeria and Senegal. It includes Country Humanitarian Needs Overviews (HNO) and Strategic Response Plans (SRP) with related funding needs, jointly developed by key humanitarian partners through regional and national clusters/working groups.