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Caisses de résilience

©FAO/John Monibah

This webinar was organised with support from the European Union.

7 July 2016  15.00-16.30 CEST

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  • Alexis Bonte, FAO, Regional Resilience Coordinator for Africa region and currently FAO Representative a.i. in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Alberto Bigi, Resilience and Disaster Risk Management expert, FAO sub-regional office for Mesoamerica in Panama


  • Sylvie Wabbes, Liaison and Oerations Officer, Emergency division, FAO

Sustainable development cannot be achieved without resilient livelihoods. Men and women around the world are increasingly exposed to natural hazards and crises, from drought, floods, earthquakes and disease epidemics to conflict, market shocks and complex, protracted crises. Worldwide, 75 percent of poor and food insecure people rely on agriculture and natural resources for their living. They are usually hardest hit by disasters. Given the multi-sectoral character of shocks and stressors and their effects on livelihoods, cross-sectoral solutions as well as coordination and coherence are needed to build resilience. Among several options for resilience programming, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been promoting the ‘caisses de résilience’ approach, a resilience-building initiative implemented in Uganda since 2008 through the Agro-pastoral Field School methodology.

'Caisses de résilience’ (CdR) is an integrated community-centered approach, linking social, technical and financial dimensions in a mutually reinforcing way. The combination of the three dimensions has shown to have a multiplier effect in the livelihoods of men and women farmers and pastoralists through the accumulation and diversification of income as well as household and community assets, two key sources for increasing livelihood resilience. As such, communities, and vulnerable women in particular, are in a better position to prevent and/or recover from shocks caused by natural or man-made disasters.

The 'caisses de résilience' approach has also demonstrated that resilience-building does not require massive investments to achieve high impact but rather works best if it addresses several dimensions jointly. CdR combines indeed capacity development on agricultural good practices with savings and loan schemes while strengthening social dynamics and social empowerment at group and community levels.

The webinar presents the basic concepts of the 'Caisses de résilience' and highlights the adaptability of this approach in order to tailor resilience-building to varying contexts and challenges, from protracted crisis to natural hazards. It gives concrete examples of implementation and scaling-up in a number of African countries, from Uganda to Central African Republic, Liberia, Malawi, Mali and Chad, and recently also in Burundi, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Democratic Republic of Congo. The session also illustrates how the approach was adapted as early as 2000 in Honduras and Guatemala to address the natural hazards context of the Dry Coridor area in Central America with an initiative called 'Community Contingency Funds' (CCFs).

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