RPCA restricted meeting 2019
RPCA restricted meeting
From 01/04/19 to 05/04/19 - Brussels, Belgium
Members of the Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA) gathered in Brussels to examine the final results of the 2018-19 agro-pastoral season and take stock of the implementation of response plans in the Sahel and West Africa. Despite an overall good harvest and many social protection measures, 4.8 million people currently require urgent food and nutrition assistance. The Network’s consensual approach to improving food and nutrition security inspired the creation of a Global Network against Food Crises. Within this framework, the European Commission held a high-level event on 2-3 April on “Food and agriculture in times of crisis”. The theme of the 35th RPCA annual meeting, which will be held in Conakry, Guinea, on 2-4 December 2019, will focus on “Addressing food and nutrition challenges in crisis situations“.
Agriculture, food and nutrition situation
Agro-pastoral campaign 2018-19 & Market situation
The 2018-19 agro-pastoral campaign was good overall. Total cereal production reached 73.2 million tonnes, up from 17.7% compared to the five-year average, and up by 6.6% compared to the previous campaign. However, some countries recorded significant decreases compared to the previous campaign, in particular, Gambia (-24.3%) and Sierra Leone (-15.7%). Root and tuber production, estimated at 185 million tonnes, increased by 19.9% compared to the five-year average. Similarly, leguminous crops and oilseed production, estimated at 26.4 million tonnes, increased by 30% compared to the five-year average. Fodder supplies are relatively good; however, some pastures remain difficult to access in insecure areas of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. In the rare pastoral zones that are easily accessible, there is a risk of infectious animal diseases due to a high concentration of livestock.
Food markets remain well supplied and the price of local cereals is decreasing overall, except in certain countries where inflation is high (Ghana, Liberia, Mauritania, Nigeria and Sierra Leone). In the coming months, the increase in food prices will stay in the normal range, but will nevertheless be higher until the end of the lean season in insecure areas.
Throughout the region, 4.8 million people are in need of food and nutrition assistance, of which two million are in Nigeria. If appropriate measures are not taken, nearly 9.7 million people will be affected during the lean season from June to August 2019, of which 450 000 people will be in an emergency situation (308 000 in Nigeria; 41 000 in Mauritania; 30 000 in Niger; 26 000 in Burkina Faso; 24 000 in Mali and 22 000 in Chad). The nutrition situation remains concerning, with a prevalence of global acute malnutrition exceeding the emergency threshold of 15% in several zones in Burkina Faso, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north-eastern Nigeria and Senegal.
Drawing on the key findings of the implementation of response plans, participants emphasised the need to harmonise targeting methods and strengthen monitoring-evaluation. They recommended that States conduct an assessment of the effectiveness of food and nutrition assistance in conflict-affected areas.
The Liptako-Gourma analysis shows that the persistent security crisis exacerbates food and nutrition insecurity as well as underlying structural factors (poverty, population growth, youth unemployment and insuff icient basic social services). In addition to refugees and internally displaced persons, the security crisis led to the closure of 2 000 schools, raising the risk of generations of uneducated people. RPCA members recommended that all stakeholders (humanitarian, development and peace) unite efforts to improve planning and co-ordinated actions in order to strengthen resilience.
Current research shows a strong correlation between gender inequalities and food and nutrition security. Given that food and nutrition insecurity does not affect women and men in the same way, gender mainstreaming in early warning systems (EWS) is essential to prevent and manage crises more equitably.
RPCA members called for strengthening the gender dimensions of early warning systems (EWS) feeding into the Cadre harmonisé (CH) analysis. They recognised the limitations of the existing CH with regard to gender analysis and agreed that future updates to the CH should include a gender analytical framework as well as comprehensive guidance on conducting gender analysis and collecting sex-disaggregated-data.
The SWAC Secretariat also presented a new report demonstrating the important role of women in the food economy and the ways in which their social capital and resilience may be strengthened.
- Pepper, A. (2019), Integrating gender analysis into food & nutrition security early warning systems in West Africa, West African Papers, No. 24, OECD Publishing, Paris.
- OECD/SWAC (2019), Women and Trade Networks in West Africa, West African Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris.
Resilience / SEG-AGIR
Members of the Global Alliance for Resilience (AGIR) discussed the Gambian government’s commitments to strengthening resilience. They also examined integrated approaches to strengthening resilience in insecure zones in Burkina Faso.
On the basis of best practices in conflict-affected areas, stakeholders emphasised the need to strengthen the humanitarian-development-peace nexus by implementing multisectoral, participative and inclusive approaches, with a stronger role played by communities, local authorities and civil society organisations. They also underscored the need to work collectively to scale up best practices.
They highlighted the key role of food stocks (in particular at the local level) in strengthening the resilience of the most vulnerable, and urged States, regional organisations and partners to seek long-term solutions to challenges around sustainable financing and better quality of local food stocks.
Targeted multi-sectoral approach of the European Union
During the conference “Food and Agriculture in Times of Crisis“, members of the Global Network against Food Crises reaffirmed the need to:
- Prioritise approaches that address the root causes of food and nutrition crises and not only the symptoms;
- Work together in a holistic and inter-sectoral manner around the humanitarian-development-peace nexus to effectively address the multi-factorial challenges of food and nutrition crises.
In their Joint Statement, they committed to continue strengthening their efforts in bringing stakeholders together around the production of consensual information, dialogue and co-ordination. However, they also recalled that “working together” requires many sacrifices from all stakeholders, especially from development partners who have to move beyond their differences and better align their interventions to improve the coherence and effectiveness of actions, and strengthen the leadership of local institutions and actors.
- Urgently organise under the auspices of ECOWAS a high-level dialogue on cross-border crisis-affected areas around the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. This conference will aim to find appropriate solutions to put an end to the cycle of humanitarian, food and nutrition crises.
The RPCA meeting started on 1 April with a restricted group of members.
- Strengthen the gender and vulnerable pastoralism dimensions in data collection tools required for the Cadre harmonisé analysis;
- Respect the PREGEC Charter principles and accelerate the study on the quality and reliability of information
- Postpone the 3rd evaluation of the PREGEC Charter be postponed to 2021 in order to allow more time to implement the recommendations of the 2nd evaluation.
The theme of the 35th RPCA annual meeting, which will be held in Conakry, Guinea, on 2-4 December 2019, will focus on “Addressing food and nutrition challenges in crisis situations“.
Food and nutrition situation
The RPCA restricted meeting brought together some 150 participants from 17 Sahelian and West African countries and their partners. More photos
The RPCA restricted meeting was held at the Square Brussels Convention Centre, near Central Station.
It was held back-to-back with a high-level event on “Food and agriculture in times of crisis” hosted by the European Commission under the auspices of the Global Network against Food Crises.
- 1 April 2019: Restricted group of RPCA members, Coudenberg entrance, The ARC, 3rd floor, 08:00-16:00
- 2-3 April 2019: High-level event on “Food and Agriculture in times of crisis“, Main entrance, 08:00-17:30
- 4 April 2019: RPCA restricted meeting, Coudenberg entrance, Hall 400, 08:00-18:00
- 5 April 2019: RPCA restricted meeting, Coudenberg entrance, ARC room, 08:00-14:00