FAO Investment Centre

Building resilience in the Sahel


Strengthening the resilience of rural Sahel communities facing conflict, climate change and COVID-19 is the focus of a new joint Rome-based agency project. The six-year USD 180 million project is co-financed by IFAD (USD 109 million) and the GCF (USD 71 million).

The Centre provided design support, identifying priority investments in agricultural infrastructure, innovative technology and human and social capital that will benefit rural households in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger – the G5 Sahel – plus the Republic of Senegal. FAO and WFP will provide implementation support to the G5 Sahel Secretariat and IFAD.

The project aims to reach 123 000 rural households – nearly 1 million people – in cross-border areas in the six countries, especially women, who typically have limited access to land and finance, young people, who face high unemployment, the landless and transhumant pastoralists. Investments will target the development of marketplaces and rural infrastructure, including roads and small-scale irrigation. Training initiatives and cross-border markets for agricultural inputs and produce will strengthen business partnerships between farmers and pastoralists, while market information systems and cashless exchanges through ICT platforms will make transactions at borders more secure. To comply with COVID-19 health protocols, the project will train communities on good market hygiene and other safety measures.

Farming households will also receive training on climate-resilient agricultural practices via agropastoral field schools, as well as agricultural kits. The project will train rural communities and vulnerable groups on sustainable livestock management, risk management, development of SME business plans, conflict prevention and resolution and social mediation.

Photo credit ©FAO/Seyllou Diallo
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