Food security stakeholders call for action
Members of the Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA) gathered from 16-18 April 2018 at OECD headquarters in Paris to validate the final results of the 2017-18 agro-pastoral campaign and take stock of the food and nutrition situation. The Network estimates that 7.1 million people are in need of urgent food and nutrition assistance, of which 3.7 million are in northeastern Nigeria. If appropriate measures are not promptly taken by the lean season in June-August 2018, the number of people affected could reach 10.6 million and the number of malnourished children could increase from 1.1 to 1.6 million. The meeting also focused on the critical pastoral situation in the Sahelian belt. Significant fodder and water shortages in the Sahel, particularly in Mauritania and Senegal, has led to an early departure of migrating animals and a high risk of conflict. Sahelian and coastal countries have developed response plans. RPCA recommended that ECOWAS, UEMOA and CILSS to support Sahelian states to mobilise funds to fill these response plan implementation financing gaps in both sending and host countries. The RPCA also encouraged regional organisations to make the Regional Food Security Reserve for livestock feed operational and to invest in a favourable environment for safe, peaceful and mutually beneficial cross-border transhumance for both Sahelian and coastal countries. This includes implementing structural programmes to address the current and future challenges of pastoral livestock farming, particularly as they relate to education and youth employment. Niger’s experience was showcased during the session of the Senior Experts’ Group of the Global Alliance for Resilience (SEG-AGIR). The RPCA meeting offered many opportunities for dialogue, informal exchanges and networking between Sahelian and West African leaders and their technical and financial partners. The 34th RPCA annual meeting is scheduled to take place on 3-5 December 2018 in Banjul, Gambia.