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Urgent action to support the resilience of vulnerable populations - Full version July 2012
Following an alert by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme in October/November 2011 regarding a food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel, FAO prepared a strategic response framework entitled “The food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel: Urgent action to support the resilience of vulnerable populations” in support of national governments and in collaboration with humanitarian agencies active in West Africa and the Sahel.
This programme includes a regional component as well as national interventions in Burkina Faso, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, the Niger and Senegal. Cameroon has recently been integrated into the programme following a request from its Government.
In order to effectively safeguard livelihoods that are under threat and improve food and nutrition security, it is crucial that the negative impacts of the crisis on food production and distribution networks be reduced and conditions created that are favourable to recovery and restoring the selfsufficiency and dignity of affected people. At the same time, it is essential to maintain the availability of, access to and consumption of quality staple foodstuffs, thereby strengthening the resilience of communities and individuals, in particular women, who play a fundamental role at all levels of food systems.
The overall objective of FAO’s planned programme is to improve the food and nutrition security of vulnerable populations in the Sahel.
The specific objective is to safeguard and strengthen the resilience of livelihoods of farmers, pastoralists, agropastoralists and agrosilvopastoralists, as well as other vulnerable groups threatened by the 2012 crisis.
For FAO, “resilience” is the ability to prevent disasters and crises or to anticipate, absorb, accommodate or recover from those that impact nutrition, agriculture, food security and food safety (and related public health risks) in a timely, efficient and sustainable manner. This includes protecting, restoring and improving structures and functions of food and agricultural systems under threat.