Inicio  > Regions > África Occidental

West Africa and Sahel Programme

West Africa and Sahel Programme

In the West Africa and Sahel region, millions of vulnerable people who depend on the production, marketing and consumption of crops, livestock, fish, forests and other natural resources are confronted by recurring disasters and crises. These shocks undermine their livelihoods and threaten their food and nutrition security. Drought, floods, the locust threat, socio-political instability or rising food prices exacerbate the structural weaknesses of countries in this region, known for their decreasing soil fertility and desertification, insufficient agriculture investments, high poverty rate and population growth.

Food security and livelihoods challenges in 2014

Despite the 2013 harvest in the Sahel being equivalent to the last five years average, over 20 million people will struggle with food insecurity in the Sahel in 2014.

Vulnerable households have barely recovered from the previous food security crises (2005, 2008, 2010, 2012), and need support to become more resilient. Without adequate means to restore their livelihoods, they will be forced to turn to negative coping mechanisms (sale of livestock and agricultural inputs, reducing number and quality of daily meals, accumulating debt, decreasing expenditures for education, health and malnutrition-related care, selling their force labour on the detriment of cultivating their own plot, etc.) leaving them even more vulnerable to future shocks thus aggravating food insecurity.

In addition to the life saving and livelihoods restoration from current food insecurity, additional challenges should be addressed in 2014:

  • Possible erratic climatic patterns or drought which may cause loss of crops and livestock hence disrupting livelihoods;
  • Population displacements due to possible natural or man-made disasters;
  • Desert locust constituting a perennial threat to crops if not timely controlled;
  • Humanitarian access, regularly jeopardized by armed group;
  • Timely funding of agriculture and livestock activities;
  • Important livelihood needs unaddressed in the past years. In fact while the assistance provided in response to the Sahel crisis has been crucial, millions of households did not benefit from adequate support and will require reinforced assistance in 2014.

FAO and resilience in West Africa/Sahel

It is crucial to break the vicious cycle of crises by proactively building the resilience capacities of farmers, agropastoralist, pastoralists and fishermen communities to cope with these shocks. As part of its objectives to increase the resilience of livelihoods from disasters, FAO, with national and regional partners, (i) analyses vulnerabilities, (ii) protects the livelihoods and food security of the most vulnerable populations through prevention and mitigation measures, and (iii) restores and strengthen affected livelihoods to respond to crises.

FAO’s Regional Resilience, Emergency and Rehabilitation Office for West Africa/Sahel (REOWA) was created in Dakar in 2006 to enable FAO to liaise and coordinate with humanitarian actors at regional level. The Office also provides strategic humanitarian guidance for FAO’s country offices in the sub-region.

Temas Relacionados

 - Since March 2011, violence in Syria has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and injured countless civilians.As of December 2014, over 50 percent of the population has fled their homes, ...leer más
 - Agriculture plays an important role in Nepal’s economy, but the country’s small-scale producers face many challenges. Access to quality inputs, decent roads, irrigation and markets is patchy. Natural disasters destroy ...leer más
 - The strongest El Niño weather episode in the last several decades has caused repeated crop failure, decimated herds of livestock and driven some 10.2 million people across Ethiopia into food ...leer más
15/01/2016
 - As the security situation gradually stabilizes, agriculture offers the most opportunities for economic growth, particularly among the youth and returnees who are seeking work and can engage in agricultural activities ...leer más
14/01/2016
 - As part of the early recovery and reconstruction effort focused on helping farmers become more resilient to future crisis after the two major earthquakes which struck Nepal, FAO is conducting ...leer más
08/01/2016
 - With South Sudan still facing a large-scale food crisis, the need for quality data on crop harvests is crucial. As part of strengthening the agriculture and food security information, FAO ...leer más
05/01/2016
 - Highlights: National rice production in 2015 is estimated at about 3.7 million tonnes (in paddy terms), representing a decline of 6 percent compared to the previous year. Estimates for maize and ...leer más
04/01/2016
 - Las perspectivas para la producción agrícola y ganadera en África austral se han visto mermadas por el fenómeno climático de El Niño, que ha hecho disminuir las lluvias y aumentar ...leer más
22/12/2015
 - Torrential monsoonal rains, exacerbated by Cyclone Komen, caused widespread flooding and landslides in Myanmar from July to October this year. Agriculture bore the brunt of the disaster, with the sector ...leer más
22/12/2015
 - Amidst ongoing challenges in Nepal following the earthquakes in April/May 2015, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is continuing its recovery and rehabilitation activities to strengthen ...leer más
21/12/2015
 - Keys points: Good agro-pastoral production is expected in West Africa and the Sahel. Some localized fodder deficits in the pastoral zone of Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Chad may lead to an ...leer más
21/12/2015
 - Immediately following the earthquakes in Nepal and many aftershocks, FAO began its emergency response to address the immediate needs of the hardest-hit farmers in the six most affected districts. Support ...leer más
21/12/2015