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West Africa regional programme to support livelihood resilience, coordination on food and nutrition security and risk management

West Africa regional programme to support livelihood resilience, coordination on food and nutrition security and risk management

Full title of the project:

West Africa regional programme to support livelihood resilience, coordination on food and nutrition security and risk management

Target areas:

Sahel and West Africa.

USD 500 000
Project code:

To strengthen the resilience of populations affected by malnutrition and food insecurity and reduce the negative impact of food and nutrition crises in West Africa.

Key partners:

FAO’s Regional Resilience, Emergency and Rehabilitation Office for West Africa/Sahel (REOWA) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

Beneficiaries reached:

Relevant stakeholders and partners, including resource partners, Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), UN agencies and regional bodies (the Food Crises Prevention and Management Network [PREGEC] of the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel [CILSS] and the Food Crises Prevention Network [RPCA]).

Activities implemented:

REOWA carried out the following activities:

  • Contributed to write and review regional humanitarian strategies and appeals, and improve performance indicators (e.g. review of the 2014 Humanitarian Appeals; preparation and launch of the 2015 Humanitarian Appeals).
  • Provided support to countries affected by the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak (e.g. coordinated the EVD response at regional level, reviewed EVD situation reports, etc.).
  • Highlighted key resource gaps and advocacy actions required by stakeholders of the coordination fora (e.g. produced the monthly joint FAO/WFP note on food security and humanitarian implications in West Africa and the Sahel, providing stakeholders with updated information on food security in the region and recommendations for immediate actions to avoid further deterioration of the situation).
  • Participated in meetings of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) and the United Nations Development Group for Western and Central Africa (UNDG-WCA) to share food security analyses and promote resilient livelihoods (e.g. during regional IASC meetings, REOWA provided regular briefings on the impact of EVD on food security and livelihoods and the agricultural response undertaken by countries, and advocated for more attention to its potential impact on market and production chains).
  • Participated in the Regional Resilience working Group, ensuring that food and nutrition security aspects are adequately taken into account (e.g. drafter four concept notes that are used for advocacy and resource mobilization purposes to carry out inter-agency regional actions).
  • Contributed to the work of the regional disaster risk reduction (DRR)/disaster risk management (DRM) working groups (i.e. emergency preparedness and response [EPR] and Mali+) and supported contingency planning and other preparedness activities in the region (e.g. contributed to draft the 2014 EPR WG work plans).
  • Co-chaired and participated in the meetings of the Food Security and Nutrition Working Group (FSNWG); during meetings, the food security and nutrition situation was analysed, while joint FAO/WFP conclusions were shared and actions recommended.
  • Promoted DRR and resilience strategies among FAO and partners including cash and safety nets when relevant in the coordination fora.
  • Provided DRR support to, and shared relevant information with, FAO offices in the subregion (e.g. provided technical assistance to support the FAO country office in Nigeria in the design of a response
    project following the major population displacement due to insecurity in the northeastern states of the country).
  • Provided analysis of the subregional food security and nutrition situation, and published monthly joint FAO/WFP food security notes, alerts and forecasts.
  • Participated in PREGEC and RPCA meetings, and promoted the household livelihoods approach (e.g. actively contributed to PREGEC and RPCA meetings’ final communiqué and ensured that the humanitarian and livelihood situation was properly reflected in the text).
  • Participated in the subregional studies and assessments including annual crop and market assessments.
  • Provided strategic and technical support to FAO offices in the subregion (e.g. conducted DRR training of trainers, benefiting agriculture extension agents and NGO staff in Guinea).
  • Participated in the national Cadre harmonisé (CH)/Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) exercises and early warning systems training when necessary.
  • Contributed to the technical improvement of CH.
  • Participated in the Technical Committee of the Cadre harmonisé (CT CH) meetings (supported the introduction of elements from IPC into the CH methodology and ensured that the analysis took into account parameters linked to nutrition, livelihoods and humanitarian aspects).
  • Carried out a workshop in EVD-affected countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) on the CH methodology in order for them to analyse the food and nutrition security situation in each country; 20 participants attended the training.
  • REOWA’s key role in the 2014‒2015 Strategic Response Plan (SRP) for the Sahel contributed to sensitizing resource partners on the food and nutrition crisis in the region and in turn help maintain their support to agriculture, livelihood protection and food security.
  • REOWA’s active participation in IASC meetings contributed to build widespread consensus on the magnitude of livelihood needs among stakeholders in the region. As a result, Mali, for example, received significant funding for agriculture-related activities in 2014 to protect livelihoods and increase food security.
  • REOWA’s revision of countries’ Humanitarian Needs Overviews, SRPs and projects including agriculture-related activities contributed to ensure harmonization among the various countries in the region.
  • REOWA’s coordination of the participation of FAO country offices in the joint CILSS/FAO/FEWS NET/WFP/government food crop assessment missions contributed to increase FAO’s visibility and ensured that agriculture-related and food security issues are fully taken into account. In addition, collaboration between FAO, CILSS and other partners strengthened the consensus on the regional agriculture situation among national, regional and international partners was reinforced.
  • REOWA’s strategic and technical support to FAO’s offices in the subregion contributed to strengthen countries’ response capacities, and increase DRR/DRM and food security assessment expertise.
  • REOWA’s support for the preparation, implementation and report release of food security assessments contributed to demonstrate the impact of the EVD outbreak on agriculture and livelihoods, despite it being primarily a health-related crisis.
  • REOWA’s regional response programme to increase the resilience of populations affected by the EVD outbreak contributed to receive funding to assist about 40 000 farming families in EVD -affected countries.