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United Nations Development Programme sub-regional hub for West and Central Africa - Annual Report 2020

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The ebb and flow of development and stability in the Sahel and broader West and Central Africa (WACA) region has primarily been influenced by persistent challenges on one end of the scale and interventions for sustained development and peacebuilding on the other. Yet, in the midst of this, a story of resilience sits on the horizon.

The past year sparked an urgency to respond to the challenges exacerbated by COVID-19 and build a transformed and sustainable Post-COVID West and Central Africa. This urgency paved the way for curating strategic areas of intervention that serve as a development blueprint for the region and cuts across diverse thematic areas that address the root causes of protracted instability and underdevelopment.

These interventions, drawn from the six impact areas outlined in the Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA) Renewed Strategic Offer in Africa, have birthed multiple initiatives already recording milestones in hard to reach parts of the region. For example, in the Lake Chad Basin (LCB) – Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, where millions are affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, large scale stabilization is underway to restore normalcy in affected parts of the region. This stabilization framework is being scaled up in Liptako-Gourma – Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, where non-state actors continue to fuel instability and cripple development efforts.

As a sub-component of the Regional Service Centre for Africa (RSCA), the West and Central Africa Hub works closely with 24 Country Offices (COs) and other subregional hubs in Addis Ababa, Pretoria and Nairobi, including the UNDP Africa Borderlands Centre. We contribute to advancing development in Africa under the framework of the Regional Programme for Africa and its strategic priorities and are also engaged in consultations with the Regional Programme Team to develop its next Regional Programme Document (2022 – 2025).

Our work in the region is not a solo effort but one that counts on the support of several actors (including UN Offices, Agencies, Funds and Programmes) with a shared goal – a transformed continent.

We have deepened partnerships with key stakeholders who play a crucial role in extending the reach of our work and its felt impact on the ground. With the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union, we strengthen disaster risk reduction and adaptation for resilience capacities in the Sahel Region, fostering risk-informed solutions for sustainable development. Additionally, we support the implementation of the ECOWAS Regional Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) projects, building community cohesion, and providing social services in exchange for the voluntary surrender of over 40,000 arms and ammunition in West Africa over the past six years.