A partnership for resilience to food crises in the Sahel was discussed at a High-level meeting of partners to support AGIR – Alliance Globale pour l'Initiative Résilience – Sahel.
// Ensuring resilience to food crises in the Sahel
This landmark event held in Brussels on 18 June was one key step towards advancing the idea of helping ensuring resilience to food crises in the Sahel through a shared long-term commitment as articulated by the European Commission in the Initiative's Concept Note.
Representatives of the Sahel countries, delegates from regional organisations, multilateral development and humanitarian aid agencies, as well as NGOs, donor governments and the European Parliament met to discuss lasting responses to the recurrent dramatic food and nutrition crises in the Sahel.
// Synopsis of key agreement areas
Food crisis in the Sahel remains of acute concern, and the situation is likely to further deteriorate in the coming weeks
Food crises and under-nutrition are a chronic challenge in the Sahel region, and building long-term resilience and pursuing disaster risk reduction, particularly at community level, is key to avoiding the increasingly frequent recurrence of severe food crises
A strong agricultural sector, supported by adequate national policies and donor assistance, is crucial
In order to achieve a substantial and durable improvement in the resilience of the most vulnerable populations, the West African countries and organisations of the Sahel region and their international partners agreed to launch a Partnership for resilience through a multi-stakeholder initiative (AGIR – Sahel / Alliance Globale pour l'Initiative Résilience – Sahel)
This Partnership should also be clearly driven by the affected countries and anchored in the region. It must be a vehicle for close coordination among donors and existing initiatives with a view to improving sharing of information and analysis, facilitating alignment of aid strategies, strengthening the link between emergency response and development, and ensuring aid effectiveness in programming
The Partnership will establish a detailed overview of vulnerabilities and risks, including the root causes of the chronic crises, seek to maintain an overview of vulnerabilities through a Sahel "resilience dashboard", and contribute to the effective targeting of resources
A "roadmap" for strengthening the resilience of the most vulnerable households, including through social protection schemes, such as safety nets (drawing on experience from other regions/countries), and for strengthening resilience through key sectors (health, agriculture/livelihoods, transport, water and sanitation and related basic social services) should be drawn up quickly
The Partnership would allow donors and governments to sign up to basic targets for building resilience in the Sahel, and seek to agree on a division of labour in meeting these targets
A small technical group composed of representatives of governments of the region, regional organisations and key international partners, including civil society, should be constituted and anchored in the region, with a view to drawing up a draft roadmap
This roadmap will need to set out what additional resources are required in order to build resilience in the region
Governments of the region, regional organisations, humanitarian and development agencies and donors commit to maintain their collective engagement. Participants will reconvene again at a high-level conference before the end of 2012 to take stock of progress and map out the way forward.