Strengthening resilience to food and nutrition insecurity in the Sahel and West Africa

Strengthening resilience to food and nutrition insecurity in the Sahel and West Africa
Dec 2016

In the Sahel, around 65 percent of the active population works in the agriculture sector and their livelihoods are therefore affected by climate change, markets and environmental factors. More than half of these are women. Recurring crises pose real concerns for the achievement of sustainable food and nutrition security in the region. The root causes of vulnerability to food insecurity and malnutrition are complex and multidimensional.

They are linked to a range of closely related factors, such as poverty, health, hygiene, access to basic social services, dietary behaviour, socio-cultural norms, weak production levels, access to markets and the inadequacy of some public policies, as well as to climate variations and other frequent shocks, which result in large numbers of people being plunged into an almost permanent state of fragility. To address these recurrent crises, analytical tools to assess the situation and identify vulnerable populations have been set in place in the region and refined in recent years (including first and foremost the Cadre Harmonisé).

In addition, innovative practices have been developed, to support risk reduction, climate change adaptation, the fight against malnutrition and social protection (particularly through approaches based on social safety nets and cash transfers). Among other achievements, the Knowledge Share Fair organized by CILSS, IGAD, FAO and their partners in 2013, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, offered an opportunity for national and international actors to exchange experiences of these food related practices. This booklet presents eleven good practices that were developed during the Knowledge Share Fair, with the aim of promoting their dissemination and replication at regional and international level.