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Vue aérienne des femmes récoltants des feuilles de henné dans la cuvette oasienne de Kourgam, Niger.
The consequences of the global food crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic are being compounded by the war in Ukraine, a major international supplier of food commodities. Coupled with the chronic drought, which is worsening this year, the prospects for food security are alarming, especially in Africa. On the heels of World Day of Action Against Hunger, we look at how AFD Group is dealing with the emergency.

1A flexible response tailored to local situations

Unforeseeable events, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine in March 2022, call for AFD Group to take a regionally integrated and flexible approach. AFD’s actions to support Sahel countries, some of which are reliant on Ukrainian and Russian imports, focus on cross-border solidarity and the flexibility of financing mechanisms, such as the Minka Peace and Resilience Fund. This is part of France’s “Prevention, Resilience and Sustainable Peace” strategy aimed at minimizing States’ and societies’ vulnerabilities and allows for flexible approaches tailored to each situation.

Find out more: Ukrainian War Worsens African Food Crisis

2A sustainable approach based on natural resources

But action against food insecurity cannot solely be based on an emergency response. In Africa, which is particularly affected, several Sahel countries are under serious pressure from the advance of the desert, climate change and migration flows. Launched in 2007, the Great Green Wall (GGW) targets ecological restoration and the fight against food insecurity in Africa. The One Planet Summit in January 2022 has given fresh impetus to the initiatives that make up this vast project in terms of dealing with unforeseen hazards.

Further reading: The Great Green Wall: Restoring Land in Africa

3Restoring the environment and food security 

On the ground, this Great Green Wall aims to curb the advance of arid zones. In Niger, for example, the oasis basins of Gouré are threatened by desertification. And yet, these tiny islands of crops are essential to the life of local residents. In response to this threat, the PASAM Household Food Security Support Project is initiating agroecological solutions such as green cover, hedges, crop combinations and improved irrigation. This project, implemented by the NGO Karkara and financed by AFD Group, is restoring the environment and working to reduce insecurity. 

Futher reading: Protecting Green Oases for Food Security in Niger

4Targeting food self-sufficiency in urban centers

In Chad, the action on the ground involves improving the supply of the main cities, such as the capital N’Djamena. This is why AFD Group is providing €9.5 million of support for the development of agricultural production in the Linia region. Under the program, 38 km of the Bahr Linia will be watered. Rehabilitating the dried-up branch of the Chari River, will provide the city’s markets with a more sustainable and varied food supply; it also aims to improve relations between herders and farmers. 

Further reading: Agriculture in Chad: Feeding N'Djamena Tomorrow