The Regional Food Security Reserve
As the main component of the ECOWAS Food Storage Strategy, the Regional Food Security Reserve constitutes a third line of response to crises, after local/community-level and national food reserves. Adopted in February 2013 at the ECOWAS Heads of State Conference in Yamoussoukro, the reserve is an important instrument of regional solidarity. It is composed of a physical component (one-third) aimed at securing rapid supply and a financial component (two-thirds) to reduce costs and diversify food assistance. ECOWAS and its partners have now started setting up the physical reserve that is organised around four food storage areas. The ports of Dakar and Tema have been identified to facilitate possible food imports. The physical stock will be mainly supplied with local production (cereals, tubers and other food products in line with local consumption patterns) through direct purchase contracts with farmers’ organisations, national contributions and other calls for tender. By 2020, the region aims to achieve a total storage capacity of 1 million tonnes. In addition, it currently elaborates the set-up of a livestock component. The reserve benefits from the political support of the international community through the G20.
- Improve crisis response by enhancing capacity and responsiveness at different levels and in various lines of defence;
- Promote regional solidarity and reduce dependence on international assistance;
- Promote a storage system specifically targeted for emergency response;
- Reduce price volatility and its impact on producers and consumers.
Food storage areas
- Western area: Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Gambia
- Atlantic Gulf area: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone
- Central area: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali
- Eastern area: Benin, Niger, Nigeria