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CARE has recently released a brief outlining the organization’s medium- and long-term strategy in response to the ongoing food insecurity crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa.
The Sahel region in West Africa is among the poorest in the world. This chronic vulnerability, combined with the impact of recurrent droughts in recent years, has left many households on the edge of crisis survival. In the past year, the region has experienced late and irregular rainfall, an increase in agricultural pests including locusts, and rising food prices. In some areas of northern Mali food prices have skyrocketed by 90 per cent or more.
Governments in Mali, Niger and Chad have outlined programs to help counteract reduced food production. However, the majority of these interventions aim to address food shortages, not longer-term needs. In order to address the longer-term food security of those affected by the crisis, CARE is working to implement a long-term response focused on prevention, resilience, and early warning.
This strategy focuses on building on the organization’s strong history in the region, allowing regional synergies including strong local partnerships, existing links even to remote communities and the capacity for sectoral interventions that span the region
CARE aims to link current emergency relief efforts to a longer-term livelihoods and food security strategy for the Sahel, focused on reducing recurrent acute food insecurity through livelihoods interventions, climate change adaptation, interventions that promote drought resilience and ongoing efforts in disaster risk reduction in the most affected areas. Attention to marginal communities and the critical role of women in realizing food security for themselves and their children will be prioritized. This strategy will also include advocacy efforts to promote the scaling-up of social safety net programs and the recognition of food insecurity as a structural, long-term development challenge.
The full brief can be downloaded here.
About CARE: Founded in 1945, CARE is one of the leading international humanitarian organisations fighting global poverty. CARE International is an independent, non-sectarian, non-religious confederation comprised of 12 member organisations and two affiliate members, with the CARE International Secretariat based in Geneva, Switzerland. In the fiscal year of 2011, CARE worked in 84 countries around the world, supporting 1,015 poverty-fighting projects to reach more than 122 million people. For more information, please visit www.care-international.org