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Our work in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger)


The Sahel is a semi-arid geoclimatic transition zone between the Sahara Desert to the north and the Sudanian savanna to the south, which stretches east-west across Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. Our Sahel program is being implemented in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

Food and nutritional insecurity are major concerns for many Sahelian communities. While its food security issues stem from the combined effects of several factors including poverty, poor governance, deficient agricultural development and environmental degradation, the Sahel is also one of the regions of the world most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Climate change exacerbates poverty, economic crises, conflicts over natural resources, political instability and gender inequities.

Armed conflict between militias and banditry also intensify poverty and nutritional insecurity by affecting livelihoods, causing displacement and impeding the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices.

Our work in the Sahel

Climat et justice écologique | Climate and ecological justice icon
Climate and ecological justice
Démocratie et participation citoyenne | Democracy and citizen participation icon
Democracy and citizen participation
Paix et réconciliation | Peace and rconciliation
Peace and reconciliation
Justice pour les femmes | Justice for women icon
Justice for women
Aide humanitaire | Humanitarian aid icon
Humanitarian aid

In Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada supports sustainable development initiatives and the provision of humanitarian aid during food crises. Implemented with local partners, the Food and nutritional security and climate change in the Sahel project (designated by the French acronym SANC2S) aims to improve the food security of more than 100,000 people, especially women and youths working in the agriculture, livestock, forestry and fisheries sectors.

With financial support from Global Affairs Canada, the five-year project will:

  • Support sustainable and collaborative natural resource management initiatives

  • Provide technical and financial support to community-based climate change adaptation initiatives

  • Support the production, diversification and processing of local food products through vocational training the development of infrastructure including irrigated market gardens, food processing units and grain storage facilities

  • Distribute food and cash transfers to people in vulnerable and crisis situations

  • Support income generation activities for women

  • Promote inclusive governance by ensuring that gender equality and the interests of the most vulnerable groups are accorded due consideration in food security policies

Among farming communities, the project also aims to:

  • Facilitate access to markets by providing training and agricultural services and by organizing trade events

  • Strengthen capacity for defending interests through targeted advocacy on food policies

  • Train and sensitize local authorities and producers on food and nutritional security policies

What is next in our work?

Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada and its local partners in the Sahel will continue promoting the resilience and sustainability of food systems in the context of climate change by supporting economically viable family farming based on sustainable, eco-friendly solutions.


A New Leaf documentary

In the summer of 2012, the Sahel region of West Africa faced a food crisis that put 18 million people at risk of hunger and food shortages. At the height of the crisis, Development and Peace – Caritas Canada travelled to Niger, one of the most affected countries, with a film crew from Salt and Light Television, to chronicle the impact on communities.

The result is A New Leaf, a 30-minute documentary that delves into the complex issues that led to the crisis and how our solidarity can make a difference.


Version doublée

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