forum. Year after year, contingency plans have been implemented to “avoid the worst in the Sahel and West Africa”, especially in the two major centers of severe food insecurity in the Lake Chad basin and the central Sahel. Emergency situations are foreseeable, and a response is planned in advance-the cycle repeats once a year. The high cost of food and humanitarian assistance far exceeds the affordability of governments in the region. Created more and more dependence.
On April 8 (Thursday) and April 9 (Friday), members of the Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA) will meet to assess the food and nutrition outlook: before the next hay season (June), more than 27 million people will be in crisis risks of. -August), the time period between the exhaustion of grain reserves and the first harvest. This is a new peak in the region. According to UNICEF, nearly 2 million children will need treatment for severe acute malnutrition.
In 2020, the food crisis already requires special response measures, and countries have greatly increased their efforts with the support of their partners. For example, the Senegalese government has distributed more than one million food parcels. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) mobilized 6,200 tons of grain from its regional food security reserves. The ministerial round table held in the central Sahel made it possible to obtain 1.47 billion euros in funding.
However, it turns out that over time, it is difficult to maintain such a strong mobilization. The government faces painful budget trade-offs between safety, health and food emergencies.
In northeastern Nigeria, conflicts against the Islamic rebellion have continued for twelve years. On average, nearly 3.7 million people are in crisis in the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. This year this number will exceed 5 million. The “three borders” area between Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger has become the second center of severe food insecurity in the region. A quarter of the people there depend on food aid.
The region is used to managing these recurring food crises. This is a complete system that will improve over time: the provisional results of the food and nutrition outlook will be obtained at the end of November; on the basis of these estimates, countries and regions formulate their response plans; the United Nations system issues an international report at the beginning of each year. Appeal; Then, verify the updated forecast figures in April, and then send out a promotional message to try to fill the funding gap; The response is achieved, especially during the welding process; Then it is time to take stock and prepare for the next response cycle It’s time.
These recurring crises should challenge us because the number and financial needs of vulnerable groups continue to increase: by 2021, West Africa and Central Africa now account for nearly a quarter of the world’s humanitarian needs, accounting for 56,10 of the 235 million population. The cost per 10,000 people is 6.2 billion U.S. dollars (approximately 5.2 billion euros).
Despite the injection of hundreds of millions of dollars, the situation has not improved. If millions of children are saved every year due to the treatment of severe acute malnutrition, then chronic malnutrition still exists: since 2000, the number of children with stunted growth has increased by 3 million (17.8 million in 2019). Reversal of damage. Humanitarian intervention is the basis for saving lives, but it is far from enough to break this vicious circle.
get rid of ” Business as usual”, The region requires substantial long-term investment, strong innovation capabilities, and more effective coordination between various local and foreign partners. In particular, it is necessary to invest in the agricultural sector to make it possible to develop a sustainable value chain, create employment opportunities for young people, and thereby strengthen the livelihoods of disadvantaged groups.
For example, in Nigeria, only 2% of budget expenditures are spent on agriculture, which is far below the at least 10% promised by Maputo. Great efforts are needed to address the structural causes of hunger and malnutrition. This is part of a lasting solution to crises of security and political instability.
In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink the way we analyze and manage food crises. Using a mobile phone can observe food consumption almost every day. In inaccessible areas, satellite images can provide information about farmland or abandoned areas, market activities, etc. These innovations are an important means to ensure the efficiency of interventions.
Finally, in the face of numerous initiatives and actors, coordination remains a major challenge. In Burkina Faso, 67 business partners participated in humanitarian operations. At this price, it is possible to end these protracted crises in which structural problems persist and the lack of funds to deal with these problems becomes more and more important every day.