Food systems of Sahelian countries are vulnerable – Dr Robert Guéi

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The issue of food security was at the heart of the 9th Steering Committee meeting of the Sahel Alliance, which took place in Bonn on 24 June. The panel discussion organized on this occasion on the structural causes of the food crises in the G5 countries was dedicated to the analysis of the crisis and the solutions that need to be found quickly. The FAO, represented by Dr Robert Guéi, FAO Subregional Coordinator for West Africa, shared the recommendations of the “Agriculture, Rural Development and Food Security” coordination group of the Sahel Alliance, of which the FAO is the leader.

medium_Image article_Alliance Sahel1He recalled that between 60% and 80% of the population in the Sahel depends on agro-sylvo-pastoral and fisheries activities. These people are victims of daily conflicts, wars, and displacements, but also suffer from climate change. The Ukrainian crisis is a reminder that the food systems of Sahelian countries are vulnerable.

The main recommendations include

– Supporting G5 countries in emergency anticipation and preparedness interventions, such as crisis forecasting systems;

– Strengthen sectoral reforms addressing the structural causes of the food crisis, taking into account some fundamental issues, such as access to land for youth and women, strengthening regional trade, conflict resolution mechanisms, etc.);

– Strengthen the resilience of the most vulnerable populations to climate change through existing initiatives and approaches, such as agroecosystem restoration, green cities initiatives, sustainable and climate-smart agricultural practices, digitization of agriculture, climate risk financing, and water management;

– Support regional solidarity mechanisms such as those set up by the G5, ECOWAS and CILSS;

– Operationalise and strengthen the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, particularly in conflict areas, as promoted in the conclusions of the RCPA restricted meeting of 6 April 2022;

– Encourage increased co-financing in the food and agriculture sector, as it allows for the harmonization of technical and financial partners’ approaches and the exchange of expertise, using the platform provided by the Sahel Alliance.

Credit:FAO

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