23rd Food Crisis Prevention Network Meeting


Brussels (Belgium) 
 27 - 30 November 2007

At the 23rd RPCA annual meeting, co-organised by the CILSS and the SWAC, participants reviewed the food, nutritional and agricultural situation for the 2007/2008 campaign and analysed the progress made in the implementation of RPCA recommendations aiming to improve food security.

Background | Objectives | Specific Topics | Results | Participants | Contacts & Documents 


Created in response to the catastrophic drought crisis in the Sahel region in 1984, the Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA) offers an open forum for discussion and action around food security issues in West Africa. The network brings together West African policy makers and leading international agricultural experts from international organisations (WFP, FAO, WMO), specialised NGOs, producer groups and researchers. The co-ordination of the network is today mainly ensured by the CILSS and the SWAC.


The meeting’s objectives were to:

  • Review and exchange views on the food, nutritional and agricultural situation for the 2007/2008 campaign in West Africa
  • Take adequate measures for vulnerable populations in identified at-risk zones
  • Deepen debate on several specific topics linked to food security in the region

  Specific Topics

  • Information systems and food crisis prevention in West Africa and other African regions
  • Best practices and intervention mechanisms in food crisis situations, in particular the results of the evaluation and review of the Food Aid Charter
  • Food security and regulatory supply mechanisms through markets and agriculture and trade policies 


With a view to Cape Verde’s graduation from the LDC category in January 2008, participants recommended to continue to support Cape Verde during this transition phase. Moreover, strengthening the capacities of at-risk populations must remain a priority. The implementation of national and regional policy recommendations, however, is often lengthy and should be more systematically monitored; follow-up activities also need to be included more regularly in the monitoring process; an institution or several institutions should be systematically assigned to facilitate the implementation of the proposed activities.

The recently launched RPCA website (www.food-security.net) is becoming increasingly popular with a worldwide audience. With a view to West African site visitors, a network of country-focal points could be set-up to further develop country-specific information. The Agricultural Information System (AGRIS) could also contribute to better harmonise information gathering mechanisms and data analysis at the national and regional levels. Funding conditions to ensure the sustainability of this information system still need to be clarified during a first Steering Committee meeting scheduled for 2008.

ECOWAS’ and UEMOA’s participation in discussions was greatly appreciated by all network members, underscoring the regional dimension of food security. Participants proposed presenting RPCA meeting outcomes to decision-making bodies within the CILSS, ECOWAS and UEMOA.

> Summary Record  | Policy Note


About 30 network members, including government officials and policy makers from West African countries and OECD donor countries as well as agricultural experts from international organisations, multilateral and bilateral technical aid agencies, participated in the meeting. 



  • Jean Zoundi, SWAC Head of Unit "Rural Transformation & Sustainable Development"

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