What are the needs?
Food and nutrition crises are becoming more frequent in the Sahel and West Africa. Millions of people now face food insecurity and malnutrition on an almost permanent basis, regardless of whether harvests are good. To prevent the region from being hit by crisis year after year, much greater attention needs to be given to building resilience of the most vulnerable population groups.
Successful resilience building is about bridging the gap between humanitarian and development aid, as well as encouraging governments to take ownership and supporting them to achieve their resilience agenda.
What is the AGIR and what are its objectives?
The aim of AGIR (the Global Alliance for Resilience Initiative) is to help build resilience to the recurrent food and nutrition crises that affect the countries of the Sahel and West Africa. The premise is that these crises can and should be eradicated. While urgent relief remains a necessity, focusing on the root causes of crises will eventually reduce the number of emergencies and their cost. AGIR defines resilience as "the capacity of vulnerable households, families and systems to face uncertainty and the risk of shocks, to withstand and respond effectively to shocks, and to recover and adapt in a sustainable manner."
The idea of an international alliance bringing together governments, regional organisations, donors and the aid community was first put forward at a high-level meeting in Brussels in June 2012, hosted by the EU. The Alliance was formally launched in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso on 6 December 2012.
AGIR focuses on a 'Zero Hunger' goal in the next 20 years through four strategic pillars:
- Restore, strengthen and secure livelihoods and improve social protection for the most vulnerable communities and households;
- Strengthen nutrition of vulnerable households;
- Sustainably strengthen agricultural and food productivity and incomes of vulnerable households and improve their access to food;
- Strengthen governance for food and nutritional security.
AGIR’s progress is measured by indicators including:
- An increase of vulnerable people with access to basic social services such as health, education, water, sanitation and hygiene, and ability to increase their income;
- A reduction of at least 50% of people seeking humanitarian aid in high-risk zones;
- A prevalence below 5% of global acute malnutrition among children under five (currently often 15%);
- A child mortality rate of less than 2 deaths per 10 000 children;
- Progress on spacing births and increasing the age of first pregnancy.
What are the next steps?
Following the adoption of the AGIR Regional Road Map, the EU announced €1.5 billion in support for building resilience in West Africa between 2014 and 2020, under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). Ten of the 17 participating nations have already adopted national resilience priorities. Subsequently, international partners of AGIR coordinate support for adopted resilience priorities and assess the progress.