UN and partners launch new plan to tackle Sahel crisis
3 February 2014, Rome – UN agencies and humanitarian partners have launched an unprecedented, three-year Strategic Response Plan for the Sahel region. “Our first priority is to ensure that farmers in the Sahel have a successful planting season in the coming weeks, providing them urgently with agricultural inputs," said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva. "But our responsibility is also to make sure that the next drought will not lead to another major humanitarian crisis. Together with national governments and partners, we are working to build the resilience of Sahelian populations by producing quality seed varieties, rehabilitating degraded agricultural land, conserving rainwater and supporting small-scale irrigation.”. As of January 2014, more than 2.5 million people require urgent lifesaving food assistance in the Sahel. The nine countries to be covered by the plan are: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, the Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.
Rodrigue Vinet is a Senior Project Coordinator in the Division for Emergency Operations and Rehabilitation at FAO. In the following interview he elaborates on why the launch of the regional response plan is happening now and some examples of activities to be executed through this strategic plan.
Excerpts from speeches during the launch, include: José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (00:00); Romano Prodi, UN Special Envoy on the Sahel (02:43); Robert Piper, Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel (08:59); Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response (14:35); Nancy Lindborg, Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, USAID (20:51); Valerie Amos, United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator (26:03).
Q and A.
Produced by: Sandra Ferrari