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FAO Project Highlights: Regional programme to address increased food insecurity in West Africa and the Sahel and inform effective humanitarian response for strengthening resilience of vulnerable households (OSRO/SFW/002/USA)

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Full title of the project: Regional programme to address increased food insecurity in West Africa and the Sahel and inform effective humanitarian response for strengthening resilience of vulnerable households

Target areas: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo

Recipient:Subregional Office for West Africa

Donor:United States of America

Implementation: 01/01/2020-31/03/2021

Contribution:USD 300 000

Project code:OSRO/SFW/002/USA

Objective: To scale up humanitarian and resilience response through national capacity on innovative approaches to food security and resilience analysis, and regional coordination in West Africa and the Sahel.

Key partners: United Nations agencies, in particular the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, non-governmental organizations, the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), the Regional Training Centre for Agro-meteorology and Operational Hydrology and their Applications, the Famine and Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET), national partners (statistical services from the Ministries of Agriculture, national early warning systems and nutrition services) the Permanent Secretariat of the G5 Sahel, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the International Cooperation Centre of Agricultural Research for Development.

Beneficiaries reached: Various food security coordination bodies, regional actors and international entities participating in System for the Prevention and Management of Food Crises (PREGEC) and the Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA).

Activities implemented:

Output 1: Food security and nutrition analysis is improved and sustained

  • Participated in and chaired seven Technical Committee of the Cadre Harmonisé (CH) meetings in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo – FAO reviewed the CH additional technical notes and training materials, briefed the Technical Committee members on the innovations and lessons learned and provided guidance to key partners on CH facilitation sessions.

  • Organized training workshops on CH analysis version 2.0 (new guidelines) for more than 150 country analysts, coaches and facilitators in four centres (Benin, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Senegal).
    Provided financial support for the CH workshop analysis in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo and co-facilitated along with regional partners various national CH analyses cycles in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Liberia, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

  • Contributed to the 2021 Global Report on Food Crises by reviewing figures related to people facing acute food insecurity at crisis or worse levels in West Africa and the Sahel, based on CH results.

  • Provided technical support in areas relating to crops, markets and food security, as well as international market trends in collaboration with the Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture on a monthly basis.

  • Coordinated the participation of FAO country offices in the joint CILSS/FEWSNET/FAO/government/WFP national assessments, crop assessments and arranged logistics for the missions of the regional teams of the western Basin, covering markets of the Gambia, Mauritania and Senegal.

  • Drafted two advocacy notes on behalf of the Food Security and Nutrition Working Group (FSNWG) on the effects of COVID-19 on food security and nutrition.

  • Prepared a regional anticipatory action note on COVID-19 for West Africa and the Sahel.

Conducted an impact risk analysis for the potential spread of desert locust in West Africa.

  • Contributed to the adaptation of the Global Early Warning Early Action (EWEA) report into the joint FAO-WFP report on early warnings on acute food insecurity by conducting regional and country-level analyses and supported conflict analyses in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali, as well as a regional report on conflict.

Output 2: National capacities to prepare for and respond to agricultural and pastoral crises, desert locust invasion and impacts of COVID-19 as well as analyse and prevent conflicts are improved

  • Supported the Global Network against Food Crises Partnership Programme in countries to better analyse resilience through the resilience index measurement and analysis tool, by providing technical assistance and training to 71 country office staff and national government bodies in charge of resilience programming and monitoring in Burkina Faso, Mali and the Niger.

  • Provided technical and financial support to country early warning systems teams to monitor food security and nutrition situation in the context of COVID-19 since April 2020.

  • Produced ten newsletters related to monitoring food security in the context of the pandemic, that were shared with all stakeholders for adequate actions.

  • Provided trainings and capacity building activities against the threat of desert locust invasion (including pesticide management and environmental monitoring techniques; team building for the national locust units; development of national contingency and response plan) benefiting 79 government technical staff from Cameroon, Nigeria, Gambia and Cabo Verde.

  • Held high-level advocacy meetings with the Minister of Agriculture of all four countries that committed to becoming members of the Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Western Region (CLCPRO).

  • Organized joint surveillance missions on the ground and other preparedness actions and control measures benefiting frontline countries, namely Chad, the Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal.

  • Provided 16 drones for surveillance/prospection and 12 vehicles (4x4) to frontline countries.

  • Conducted a conflict analysis in two areas affected by conflict and insecurity in northeastern Nigeria and established a system for monitoring the dynamics of conflicts related to access to natural resources and the security crisis.

  • Contributed to the implementation of the first Liptako-Gourma Response Plan (April 2020- August 2021).

  • Monitored capacity of country offices in rapid needs assessments through on-site visits in order to build capacities of assessment officers and provide guidance (assessment questionnaires, training of enumerators, data analysis and reporting).


  • Contributed to building consensus on the food security and nutrition situation among regional and international stakeholders during CH regional consolidation, FSNWG, PREGEC and RPCA meetings.

  • Strengthened collaboration and coordination mechanisms with ECOWAS and FAO’s CLCPRO, increasing regional coordination against a potential desert locust invasion.

  • Provided regular analyses of the sub-regional and country-level food security and nutrition situation.
    Strengthened the capacities of the food security analysts at regional and country levels.

  • Monitored the food security and nutrition situation in the context of COVID-19.

  • Advocated for the extended use of the CH, especially thorough implementation of the manual and new changes provided.

  • Continued to be strongly engaged in the implementation of various humanitarian, food security and nutrition activities supporting national and regional institutions.

  • Promoted innovative approaches for building resilience and enhancing DRR in vulnerable communities and among food security and nutrition stakeholders.

  • Provided strategic and technical support to FAO offices in West Africa and the Sahel and their partners.
    Strengthened strategic partnerships with regional stakeholders including WFP, G5 Sahel and CILSS.