RPCA › AGIR
Global Alliance for Resilience Initiative (AGIR)
Fully in line with the spirit of the Charter, the Network welcomes AGIR, a global Alliance to foster improved synergy, coherence and effectiveness of resilience initiatives in the region. Launched in December 2012 in Ouagadougou, the Alliance’s objective was defined as to “Structurally and sustainably reduce food and nutritional vulnerability by supporting the implementation of Sahelian and West African policies”. The Alliance is placed under the political and technical leadership of ECOWAS, UEMOA and CILSS and it is based on existing platforms and networks, in particular the RPCA. Building on the “Zero Hunger” target within the next 20 years, the core approach of the Alliance is to channel the efforts of regional and international stakeholders towards a common results framework. A Regional Roadmap adopted in April 2013, specifies the objectives and main orientations of AGIR which are applied at the country level through national roadmaps (“National Resilience Priorities” (NPR-AGIR)).
As a follow-up to a high-level consultation with West African regional institutions, organised by the European Commission on 18 June in Brussels, participants agreed to join their efforts and build a lasting political partnership, the Global Alliance for Resilience Initiative - Sahel (AGIR). In response to chronic food insecurity and malnutrition, the initiative aims to promote greater resilience among vulnerable populations by creating greater synergy between emergency actions and between long-term strategies aimed at addressing the root causes of food crises. In line with the principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the Alliance puts emphasis on donor co-ordination and the building of synergy in order to foster effective collective action for sustainable food and nutritional security. “In order to achieve the objectives set, “The relevant processes should be fully owned at regional level and anchored in the region”, concluded participants at the high-level meeting on 18 June.
AGIR is based on a shared definition of the term “resilience” as being:
“The capacity of vulnerable households, families, communities and systems to face uncertainty and the risk of shocks, to withstand and respond effectively to shocks, as well as to recover and adapt in a sustainable manner”.
This definition calls for concerted humanitarian and development efforts in order to increase the resilience of vulnerable households, families and communities and to break the cycle of recurrent food and nutritional crises. It addresses, by means of a unified approach, the causes of acute and chronic food and nutritional crises, while helping vulnerable households to increase their incomes, gain access to basic infrastructures and social services, and create wealth by sustainably strengthening their livelihoods.
This approach requires the concurrent implementation of long-term, structural programmes and short-term actions aimed at addressing the immediate needs of the most vulnerable populations. Long-term programmes include human capacity building at all levels, and support for communities in their efforts to build resilience through building/strengthening community governance, social service systems (water, education, health, etc.), community food storage systems and other infrastructures, community early warning and prevention mechanisms, etc.
The overall objective of the Alliance is to “Structurally reduce, in a sustainable manner, food and nutritional vulnerability by supporting the implementation of Sahelian and West African policies”. In the next 20 years, the Alliance aims to completely eradicate hunger and malnutrition (Objective “Zero Hunger”). In the shorter term, the Alliance aims to build resilience among the vulnerable communities and households in the Sahel and West Africa so that they are better able to resist shocks.
Specific Strategic Objectives
Improve social protection for the most vulnerable households and communities in order to secure their livelihoods;
- Strengthen the nutrition of vulnerable households;
- Sustainably improve agricultural and food production, the incomes of vulnerable households and their access to food;
- Strengthen governance in food and nutritional security.
- Small-scale vulnerable agricultural households most often physically distant from or poorly connected to markets;
- Agro-pastoralist and pastoralist households (including artisan fishermen) whose livestock and fisheries resources are continually threatened by recurring weather hazards;
- Poor workers in the informal sector, both in rural and urban areas. This group is in large part composed of younger generations, facing unemployment or a precarious employment situation and, as a consequence, the risk of being targeted by criminal and terrorist group activities.
In these three categories of households, the most vulnerable are children under the age of five, and particularly those under the age of two, pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers, as well as women-headed-households (WHH) and the elderly.
West African leadership
A consultation meeting between ECOWAS, UEMOA and CILSS, facilitated by the SWAC Secretariat on 10 September 2012 in Abidjan, led to the drafting of a joint position paper in which the three regional organisations warmly welcome this ambitious initiative. They highlighted that AGIR must support the implementation of existing regional policies and investment programmes in the field of food crisis prevention and management. By strengthening West African regional leadership, this Alliance could become an example of successful international partnership and improvement of development effectiveness in Africa.
"We would like to see our region involved in the global co-ordination of this initiative. If there are a large number of actors intervening in various sectors, - without co-ordination, problems will arise quickly."
Cheikhe Hadjibou Soumaré, President of the UEMOA Commission, at the High-level Consultation Meeting on the Sahel Food Crisis, 18 June 2012.
Based on West African leadership, AGIR comes under the joint political leadership of ECOWAS and UEMOA, promoting subsidiarity in the interest of efficiency, with UEMOA ensuring that actions are co-ordinated at the level of its eight member states and ECOWAS overseeing overall co-ordination. The two organisations will be enhancing and strengthening the role of CILSS, which serves as a technical agency for the implementation (design, monitoring, technical co-ordination at the national and regional levels) of activities within its area of expertise. Other regional organisations or technical bodies will be mobilised in their specific fields of competence (research, health, education, etc.).
The ECOWAS Specialised Technical Ministerial Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources (CTS-AERE) and the UEMOA High-Level Committee on Food Security (CHN-SA) are the Alliance’s main regional decision-making bodies. The Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC) platform will, via the RPCA, provide the common space for dialogue, debate, lobbying and advocacy for the Alliance on the international stage.
- At the regional level, the Alliance relies on the Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA), of which ECOWAS and UEMOA provide joint political leadership. Providing a shared space for dialogue, the RPCA serves as the Alliance’s framework for consultation, monitoring and evaluation. Proposals and recommendations formulated by the RPCA are submitted to the decision-making bodies of ECOWAS and UEMOA. The RPCA holds two meetings per year: one in April and one in December. At each of these meetings, a session is dedicated to the Alliance.
- At the operational level, a small Technical Unit, hosted within the CILSS and under the leadership of ECOWAS and UEMOA, provides backing for and facilitates the implementation of the Regional Roadmap. More specifically, its mission involves: i) providing information and advocacy at country and regional levels, ii) supporting and facilitating inclusive dialogue for the formulation of national priorities and fostering synergy between country-level stakeholders, iii) co-ordinating and facilitating the operational implementation of regional priorities, iv) monitoring the implementation of priorities and sharing and making use of the lessons learned; and (v) co-ordinating (in collaboration with the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat) the organisation of the Alliance’s monitoring and orientation meetings.
- At the national level, the existing consultation mechanisms (such as the national councils or committees on food security in some countries), authorities involving most of the ministries concerned with questions of food and nutritional security (including health, education, etc.), as well as all the other stakeholders, agriculturalists, agro-pastoralists, pastoralists, civil society, the private sector, technical and financial partners, etc. will serve as fora for dialogue, guidance, co-ordination and monitoring of the Alliance’s implementation.
- At the decentralised level, regional structures and local mechanisms (regional councils, local governments, etc.) will serve as platforms for dialogue, programming and implementation follow-up.
- At all levels, agricultural producers’ and pastoralists’ organisations, civil society and the private sector will have their own specific area for dialogue.
International Co-ordination - Platform of Technical and Financial Partners (PTFP)
The role of the Alliance is to mobilise, in a co-ordinated manner, the international community around resilience in the Sahel and West Africa. To this effect, international community stakeholders have agreed on the following principles:
- At the global level, the technical and financial partners in the Alliance will establish a co-ordinating mechanism that will seek in particular to: i) sustain the political commitment of the technical and financial partners; ii) facilitate continuous political interaction between the international community and Sahelian and West African policymakers; iii) facilitate the co-ordination and development of shared positions.
- At the country level, national co-ordination mechanisms (based on already existing mechanisms) will also be made responsible for monitoring – in close collaboration with the national structures in charge of food and nutritional security - the political commitment and co-ordination of the measures taken. Those in charge of these national co-ordinating mechanisms will report on their actions and participate in specific sessions dedicated to the Alliance during RPCA meetings.
In order to accelerate the definition of National Resilience Priorities (NRP-AGIR) based on the Regional Roadmap, a regional workshop was held to launch inclusive national dialogue processes. The event was organized by ECOWAS, UEMOA and CILSS 28-30 August 2013 in Cotonou, and resulted in three documents, approved by the delegates of the States and other stakeholders.
These documents serve the basis of the on-going national inclusive dialogue processes. The lessons learned from these national consultations will be shared at the 29th annual meeting of the RPCA, 25-27 November, Abidjan.
- Relevé des conclusions Atelier/Clinique régional, 28-30 Août 2013 (in French)
- AGIR Roadmap, April 2013
- Summary Conclusions, 28th Annual RPCA meeting, Official Launching of AGIR, 6 December 2012
- Summary Conclusions, AGIR Experts' Group Meeting, 7-8 November 2012
- Summary Record of Ouagadougou meeting, 22 October 2012 (in French)
- West African Joint Position Paper on AGIR, September 2012
- Joint Final Declaration on Building Resilience to Food Crises in the Sahel, 18 June 2012
- ECHO Fact Sheet, Sahel Food Crisis 2012, June 2012
- Joint Fact Sheet, Building Resilience in the Sahel, June 2012
- A coherent EU Strategy for the Sahel, May 2011
- The EU Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel, 2011
- Regional Food Reserve Strategy, Feasability Study, July 2012