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Food Sovereignty Brief n°8 - Promoting Resilience in the Sahel: New Approach or New Fad?

The recurrence of food crises in the Sahel has helped shift thinking on relief and development. It has also convinced donors that the issue of food security must be addressed in a more resolute, lasting manner. As part of these shifts, one word has emerged in the discourse of various stakeholders (NGOs, donors, regional institutions, etc.) and that word is “resilience.” In the literature, in aid programs, in strategy papers, in regional policies, this word has had incredible success, sometimes taking on the flavor of a real slogan. The Global Alliance for Resilience Initiative (AGIR) initiative, launched in December 2012 at the behest of the European Commission, has made it the cornerstone of the objective of eradicating malnutrition in the Sahel.
We felt it interesting to understand what this term encompasses in the eyes of the various stakeholders, shedding light on points of convergence and divergence, the progress that resilience may (or may not) represent, and above all what it can mean in the context of the Sahel. The present brief is based on the writings on the subject and roughly twenty interviews with relief and development actors (donors, farmers’ organizations, NGOs, regional institutions and experts). These interviews can be consulted online.
That this brief attempts to answer the following questions:
- What is resilience? Is it merely a trend or a true paradigm shift for food security policies in the Sahel? What initiatives are underway in the region?
- In what ways do the perceptions of the various stakeholders converge?
- What challenges does this concept raise?

Read the brief (8p.)

Read the french version

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