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Major new project to improve food security in the Sahel

Agricultural engineer Aïssata Kayentao facilitates AMASSA’s project activities in Sikasso, Mali. (Nicolas Montibert/Development and Peace)

MONTREAL, February 20, 2022 – On this World Day of Social Justice, Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada is pleased to announce a major new project to strengthen food and nutritional security in the Central Sahel region of Africa. The five-year project financed by Global Affairs Canada is called Food and nutritional security and climate change in the Sahel (designated by the French acronym SANC2S).

In Central Sahel, political instability, conflict, climate change, COVID-19 and governance issues intersect in complex ways to cause and aggravate poverty and food insecurity, forcing millions to flee. The World Food Programme reports a total of 8 million food-insecure people and 2.1 million internally displaced in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

In this context shaped by climate change, the SANC2S project will deploy a multipronged strategy to boost the food security of vulnerable workers―especially women and youths―in the agriculture, forestry, livestock and fisheries sectors. To implement it, Development and Peace is partnering with the Association pour la promotion de la sécurité et de la souveraineté alimentaires (Association for the Promotion of Food Security and Sovereignty, APROSSA) in Burkina Faso; the Association malienne pour la sécurité et la souveraineté alimentaires (Malian Association for Food Security and Sovereignty, AMASSA) and the Union pour un avenir écologique et solidaire (Union for an Ecological and United Future, UAVES) in Mali; and Actions pour la sécurité et la souveraineté alimentaires (Action for Food Security and Sovereignty, AcSSA) in Niger.

Of the 100,000+ people envisaged to benefit from the SANC2S project, over 34,000 work in 446 grassroots agricultural and pastoral organisations. Women represent 82 per cent of this subgroup, half of which is aged 18 to 35 years. In addition to enhancing the productivity and sustainability of their economic activities, the project will assure their longer-term socioeconomic security by promoting more inclusive governance and by pushing gender-sensitivity and the concerns of marginalized groups, including displaced persons, to the centre of local, national and regional policymaking.

To these ends, the SANC2S project will:

  • Support food production and processing activities by:
    • Offering training in enhanced agricultural, forestry, pastoral and fisheries techniques
    • Building professional and organizational capacities
    • Providing infrastructure and equipment
    • Financing innovative community-based initiatives
  • Build communities’ and local authorities’ capacities to manage productive natural resources sustainably and collaboratively
  • Help cross-border communities create consultation frameworks for managing shared resources
  • Provide technical and financial support to community-led climate change adaptation initiatives
  • Facilitate producers’ access to higher-value markets through marketing training and advice and the organisation of trade events
  • Train communities and local authorities on food and nutrition security policies
  • Empower communities to promote their interests through targeted food policy advocacy

Programs officer Ann Dominique Morin said, “With SANC2S, Development and Peace is investing in the long-term food security of the Central Sahel region. The project will foster concerted resource management and inclusive governance. Among grassroots farmer organizations, it will boost the economic activities in which women and youths predominate. This integrated approach will also promote peace in the region by enhancing social cohesion.”

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About Development and Peace

Development and Peace — Caritas Canada is the official international development organization of the Catholic Church in Canada. It works in partnership with local organizations in over 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin American and the Middle East to create greater justice in the world and to act in solidarity with the most vulnerable people.

For more information, contact:

Minaz Kerawala
Communications and Public Relations Advisor
Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada
514 257-8710 ext. 328 | mkerawala@devp.org

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