AFD, ECOWAS sign €8 million to support food storage systems in West Africa
President, ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou and the Director of the French Development Agency (AFD) in Nigeria, Mr. Xavier Muron have signed a grant agreement for complementary funding of the Interim Phase of the support to the Food Security Storage System in West Africa.
The agreement, which was signed in the presence of the French Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mrs. Emmanuelle Blatmann, follows a pilot phase funded by the European Union for €56 million (of which €31.9 million was delegated to AFD) to support the ECOWAS Regional Food Security Storage Strategy.
Adopted in 2012, this strategy combines local stocks, national stocks and a Regional Food Security Reserve (RFSR) to ensure regional solidarity in the event of a major food crisis in the region.
The 8 million euro and 3-year AFD support to ECOWAS aims to increase the region’s readiness to manage food, nutrition and pastoral crises with a variety of causes. Increasing crises management capacity involves consolidating, in the short term, the achievements of the implementation of the first phase of the RFSR and building a multilateral partnership around the regional food security storage system in the mid and long terms.
Brou said; “ECOWAS welcomes AFD’s new financial support to the regional solidarity instrument, the relevance and effectiveness of which were demonstrated during the first phase. The new funding will notably enable the Regional Food Security Reserve to increase its readiness to fully play its role as the first line of defence in the event of a shock affecting people ability to feed themselves. The new phase will also be an opportunity to build a multi-stakeholder funding partnership to ensure the sustainability of our food security storage system.”
The ECOWAS Commission, through its Department of Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, is responsible for the implementation of the new project. The project activities will be implemented in all fifteen (15) ECOWAS Member States, as well as in two (2) CILSS Member States (Chad and Mauritania) that were involved in the implementation of the pilot phase.
“AFD’s partnership with the ECOWAS Commission since 2011 in supporting the implementation of the Regional Agricultural Policy, ECOWAP, is a living model. We have no doubt that this new support will contribute to the sustainability of the food security storage system in West Africa and mobilize other development partners to further strengthen resilience to the various shocks affecting food security in the region,” the Director of AFD, Nigeria, explained.
While commending the depth of the AFD – ECOWAS partnership, the French Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said that France wishes to fully pursue its role of a strategic partner in the region by supporting projects that contribute to strengthening peace and security, as well as the fight against the effects of climate change.
The new phase will call for adaptations of the regulatory framework of the RFSR, the design of innovative financial mechanisms, and increased mobilisation of the International Community in supporting the region’s food security storage strategy. It will also require adaptation of response instruments to rapid-onset crises and new risk factors like health crises such as Ebola or more global ones such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.