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Parallel session 4.1: Lessons learned from the Sahel

Working in partnerships to strengthen the linkages between social protection, humanitarian assistance, DRM and climate change

This session was hosted by the World Food Programme (WFP).

Nupur Kukrety, Policy Specialist, Social Protection in Humanitarian and Fragile contexts, UNICEF, moderated the discussion amongst the following panelists:

  • Ahmed Salem Ould Bede, Directeur général du Registre Social, Government of Mauritania Taazour
  • Dr Aline Coudouel, Lead Economist, Manager Sahel Adaptive Social Protection Programme, World Bank
  • Ana Ocampo, West Africa Regional Social Protection Advisor, WFP
  • Adimbola Oyelohunnu, Programme Officer, Social Development, ECOWAS
  • Idrissa Samna, Coordinateur, Government of Niger CFS

The Sahel population is facing widespread poverty and low human development, high prevalence of food security and malnutrition, climate change, conflicts and recurrent climatic shocks. Since the drought events of the 1970s, governments and their partners have focused their efforts on seasonal responses and on agricultural development. The escalation of conflicts and impacts of climate change have led to the scaling up of humanitarian assistance and shock and seasonal responses more generally.

From 2010 onwards, the need emerged to expand social protection with a specific focus on shock response and resilience. Despite considerable progress achieved by governments with support from the World Bank in the last decade, major challenges remain, mostly linked to still weak national visions around adaptive social protection, limited government leadership, and insufficient coverage. In 2020, with support from KfW/BMZ, UNICEF and WFP launched a joint project to support the Governments of Mali, Mauritania, and Niger to respond to the immediate needs generated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the crises it caused. The project has strengthened the national capacities to adapt and build more shock-responsive, nutrition-and-child-sensitive social protection systems. Germany, France, the UK and Denmark are also supporting the World Bank’s Sahel Adaptive Social Protection Program (SASPP), which focuses on laying the foundation for government-led national systems. These two initiatives provide an opportunity for three major partners to align their support and boost national investments in the sector.

Panelists shared their countries’ experiences of developing shock-responsive social protection systems built on intersectoral coordination and partners’ convergence, with partners aiming to link social protection, disaster risk management and humanitarian assistance.

© GIZ/Steffen Kugler
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