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Establishing a Hunger-Free Initiative for West Africa

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will support the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and its government and non-government partners in working towards a Hunger-free West Africa.

It will build on existing policies and programmes, increase stakeholder engagement and amplify the current political commitment in the region. It will promote good nutrition, feasible technical solutions to food insecurity and the right to food as the ultimate goal to be reached. As an integral part of this hunger-free initiative, the project will support specific elements of first and third programme of the Regional Partnership Compact for the Implementation of ECOWAP/CAADP and follow-up on previous support to nutrition efforts in the region.

FAO will assist ECOWAS in reaching out to all stakeholders in the region that works towards a hunger-free West Africa. This includes civil society organizations, Parliamentarians, farmers associations and development partners. In addition to supporting ECOWAS in establishing the hunger-free framework, it will support some specific elements of first and third programme of the regional compact, strengthen food security governance in the region and follow-up on previous support to nutrition efforts in the region.

 

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Long-term strategy

Moving towards a hunger-free West Africa is a bold political commitment that needs to be maintained for one, two, maybe even three decades. During this period, political commitment should be translated into concrete budget allocations for activities related to food and nutrition security and increased private investment. Hence the medium to long-term outcome of the process which will be started by this project, may read as follows: “ECOWAS and its 15 member countries increase their budget allocations to food and nutrition security and use these resources more efficiently and facilitate pro-poor private investment”

An outcome that can be achieved during the period of this project however has to be understood as a milestone of a longer journey. The goal of the project is to work with countries and the regional organization to exhibit strong and effective political commitment and a high degree of collaboration among key decision makers in government, parliamentarians, civil society, private sector, and development partners. Building political commitment among stakeholders implies awareness raising and advocacy on one hand, and the establishment and strengthening of multi-stakeholder partnerships that promote monitoring and accountability.

The outcome statement for the project (3-year timeframe) reads:
Governmental and non-governmental partners are collaborating more strongly and have increased their efforts towards the eradication of hunger and malnutrition in West Africa.

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