As part of the International Online Conference being held by the ECOWAS Commission from 28th April to 10th May 2021 to share its food security storage experience with its partners and the other regions of the world, humanitarian agencies have pledged to support and work in respect of the West African Food Security Storage System.
The statement was made following discussions on food reserves and the management of recurrent and expanding food, nutrition, and pastoral crises in West Africa: achievements, lessons learnt, challenges and prospects for the West African Food Security Storage Strategy.
Humanitarian agencies, in their 29th April 2021 interventions, acknowledged the potential of this storage system towards contributing to Goal 2 “Zero Hunger” of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and building resilience to food insecurity in West Africa and the Sahel.
Humanitarian organizations such as WFP, UNICEF, OXFAM, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies among others re-stated their commitment to align themselves with the West African Food Security Storage Strategy, giving priority to strengthening local, national, and regional food stocks management institutions capacities, knowledge sharing, cooperation, and coordination interventions for better synergy of actions.
Adding to the commitment, humanitarian organizations re-emphasized the complementary role of food security stocks in global policies for the development of agro-forestry-pastoral and fisheries value chains for food and nutrition security.
Following the humanitarian organizations’ goodwill declaration, participants to the Conference exchanged views, in a panel facilitated by Mr. Alain Sy Traoré, ECOWAS Director for Agriculture and Rural Development, on “how to better integrate the support of the International Humanitarian Community into the regional response mechanism to food, nutrition and pastoral crises, in order to strengthen its readiness to adequately deal with risks”.
Scaling up the Regional Food Security Reserve Initiative gives chance to promote food value chains and inclusive growth in the region.
To recall, the general objective of the International Conference is to lay the foundations for a renewed multilateral partnership towards strengthening warning, prevention, intervention, and humanitarian assistance mechanisms for the most vulnerable populations to food crises.
The Conference falls within the process of assessing the key achievements of the five-year implementation of the West African Food Security Storage Strategy, with the political support of the G20, financial assistance from the European Union, and technical support from the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Spanish International Cooperation Agency for Development (AECID), in collaboration with the UEMOA Commission and CILSS.