32nd RPCA Annual Meeting, Abuja, 12-14 December 2016

 

Hosted by the Federal Republic of Nigeria and under the patronage of the Commissions of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), the 32nd RPCA annual meeting brought together the region’s key food and nutrition security stakeholders. Some 250 participants, including six West African ministers and many high-level representatives, participated in the event.

It was the first time that a RPCA meeting took place in Nigeria, providing a timely opportunity for the Network to highlight the implementation of the Cadre harmonisé in Nigeria as one of its key achievements. There are now 16 out of 36 Nigerian states, almost half of the country, that use this tool to analyse and identify areas and populations at risk of food and nutrition insecurity.

Sahel and West Africa Week 2016

Highlights

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Food and nutrition situation 

The RPCA analysed the results of the agro-pastoral campaign 2016-17, the functioning of markets for agricultural products and the region’s food and nutrition situation. The agricultural forecast is overall satisfactory; cereal production could be as high as 66.1 million tonnes, an increase of 15.5% compared to the five-year average. These good prospects are explained by successful preparations before the season started (including seed supply, fertilizers, pesticides and agricultural equipment), good rainfall and favourable hydrological conditions for off-season crops. This positive outlook should, however, not lead authorities to ignore the region’s persistent food security difficulties, especially in conflict zones such as the Lake Chad basin. 

Communiqué on the food and nutrition situation



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Focus on north-eastern Nigeria

In April, at the restricted meeting, the Network sounded the alarm regarding the critical food and nutrition situation in north-eastern Nigeria. Since then, the situation has barely improved. It remains particularly worrisome in the state of Borno where many areas are difficult to access. This is why the Network is devoting a special event to the subject. Through high-level political dialogue between the Nigerian government, regional organisations (ECOWAS, UEMOA, CILSS) and development partners, the Network hopes to encourage the search for appropriate solutions to address the food and nutrition emergency, and to serve as the basis for the development of more structural responses. A joint declaration on the mobilisation of the international community, placed under the political leadership of ECOWAS and UEMOA, will be presented on this occasion. 

Background paper


‌‌‌According to the findings of the Cadre harmonisé analysis of August 2016, some 4.4 million people in northeastern Nigeria were facing acute food insecurity (phases 3-5) requiring urgent humanitarian assistance. In the worst affected and less accessible pockets of Borno state, nearly 60 000 people face the threat of famine (phase 5). Boko Haram attacks and suicide bombings continue to cause fatalities and large-scale population displacement. This has had a negative impact on food consumption and livelihood activities within both displaced and host community households. The situation continues to be particularly alarming in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe which host large numbers of internally displaced people (IDPs). According to the International Organization of Migration’s (IOM) June 2016 report, there are over 1.4 million IDPs in Borno, 159 445 in Adamawa and 111 671 in Yobe. Many returnees find their homes inhabitable and remain displaced in urban areas. New arrivals of IDPs put additional stress on host communities. Food availability is extremely limited and there has been no food production for the last three years. Consequently, household and market food stocks have been depleted and some areas have no access to markets. The depreciation of the Naira puts additional pressure on food prices, further diminishing households’ purchasing power. The prevalence of malnutrition in many areas is above the critical threshold. Some extremely high rates of under-five mortality have been recorded in the Bama area of Borno state. These rates may also be occurring in non-accessible areas where there is no information.

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NUTRITION AND SOCIAL PROTECTION

One out of three children under the age of five in the Sahel and West Africa (or some 20 million young children) currently suffers from chronic malnutrition, limiting the development of its full physical and cognitive potential. This weakens the region’s human capital, thereby compromising resilience, causing significant economic losses and impeding development in the region.

  • How can effective intervention packages be put in place to improve nutrition and resilience? 
  • How can they be implemented on a large scale?
  • How can they be sustainably financed?

The Network Members addressed these questions through three panel discussions that aimed to:

  • Better understand the links between social protection and nutrition
  • Identify and highlight success stories and innovative experiences
  • Identify and share best practices in sustainable financing of social protection systems related to nutrition security.

Background Document

 

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Resilience: SEG-AGIR Experts' Group meeting

Three years after the adoption of the regional roadmap in April 2013, the Senior Experts' Group of the Global Alliance for Resilience (SEG-AGIR) meets to review the progress made in formulating "National Resilience Priorities" (NRPs) and strengthening the mobilisation of stakeholders for the implementation of the Alliance. To date, eight countries have validated their NRPs. In accordance with the Declaration made in Milan in October 2015, AGIR stakeholders will also discuss the challenges of strengthening synergies and complementarities for better effectiveness and impact of food and nutrition security and resilience interventions in the region. 

Preliminary findings of the following two studies will be presented:

The results of the study will be used as the basis for the facilitation of an inclusive dialogue to promote more synergy and complementarity in FNS and resilience activities. This dialogue will be carried out within the framework of the Network, and in national and regional decision-making forums. This should not only help avoid duplicative or overlapping projects, but it should also significantly improve the efficiency of collective actions in support of FNS and resilience, as recommended by the PREGEC Charter. A database and an interactive mapping tool will be developed to make the collected information available online.

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Transformations in the food economy

Drawing on the results of the work of the SWAC/OECD Secretariat, this thematic session will look at the scope and breadth of transformations in the West African food economy, as well as the implications on future food demand, the agrifood system, and in particular, on food policy making. An open discussion will follow focusing on the impact of these transformations on designing food and nutrition security policies and addressing new challenges in the area of regional integration and co-operation.

Read: Emerging Opportunities in the West African Food Economy

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Contacts

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