PASAN- SECAL Project proposal

  1. Context of Food and Nutrition security in Sub-Saharan Africa

In 2017, one in four people in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) were estimated to be undernourished (FAO et al.,2018). In 2018, Statistics on Food security, Nutrition and Climate change in Africa (FAO 2018) revealed that 20 % of the population in Africa are affected by undernourishment, a total of 257 million of these people were in Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to this prevalence of chronic hunger, a significant percentage of the SSA population suffers from micronutrient deficiencies. The effects place a significant burden on health and society. Chronic hunger, malnutrition and threats to food safety put the population at the risk of the rise of non-communicable diseases such as; child growth failure, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. These conditions call for the need to address food and nutrition security in SSA through a food systems approach. According to (Herrero et al., 2017) a majority of the food in SSA is produced by small holder farmers. Yet they remain vulnerable to food insecurity and poverty following recurring droughts, insect infestation such as the recent locust plague that affected the East Africa Region, water scarcity and other barriers to food access.

In 2020, the Coronavirus crisis caused disruptions in food supply chains and factors of production. Considering the strain on the global economy, most people lost their sources of income, reducing their purchasing power and as a result, households had to reduce the quantity and quality of food. According to the UN World Food Programme, because of income losses, an estimated 130 million people will face acute food insecurity by the end of 2020. This is in addition to the 135 million people who were already insecure before the crisis.

  • Project Summary

The 4th year of the PASAN project will prioritise information mapping and evidence gathering through; engagements with National Caritas members implementing PASAN in-country: Dr Congo, Mali, Uganda, Niger and Zambia. This phase will promote learning exchanges among the 5 organisations and produce resource materials to be shared with other national Caritas members in Africa region. Project funds will be used to support advocacy actions to influence regional debates on sustainable food systems. Within the January 2021-December 2021 implementation period, Caritas Africa Regional Executive Secretariat will undertake the following advocacy actions:

  1. Information mapping and evidence gathering: Caritas Africa will undertake a survey to collect information on PASAN project results, assess the impact of current food and nutrition security interventions, document linkages to climate change mitigation and adaptation and propose policy recommendations for internal and external actors.
  2. Capacity strengthening on sustainable food systems: based on information collected from the survey Caritas Africa will bring together all the 5 member organisations to discuss the findings from the study. This gathering will further be trained on production systems that are informed on agroecological approaches, incorporate indigenous knowledge and sustain food sovereignty and livelihoods of small holder farmers. The activity will endeavour to engage a resource person from Africa Food Sovereignty Alliance based on their experience in this policy area.
  3. Developing of policy positions; the survey, training workshop and existing literature on sustainable food systems will be used to develop policy briefs for engagements in UN processes, policy dialogues with decision makers at the African Union.
  4. Facilitation online dialogue with policy makers: a number of online sessions will be held to facilitate awareness creation on emerging issues and also offer a platform for local-local capacity sharing.
  5. Building strategic alliances: Caritas Africa will join a regional civil society coalition working in sustainable food systems and a thematic working group at the African Union.
  • Policy Priorities to be addressed by the project

Caritas Africa will develop policy positions informed by the following priorities:

  • Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development programme: which focuses on improving and promoting agriculture across Africa by raising agricultural productivity in Africa’s countries by at least 6% per year through a target 10% annual budgetary allocation to agricultural sector by 2015. (Mali and Niger have exceeded the 10% target)
  • Sustainable Development Goal 2: which seeks sustainable solutions to end hunger in all its forms by 2030 and to achieve food security. The aim is to ensure that everyone everywhere has enough good-quality food to lead a healthy life[1]. This policy area will be followed through engagements with National actors and the Voluntary National Review process.
  • Paris Climate Change Agreement: The agreement aims to increase the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change, and at making finance flows consistent with a low emissions and climate-resilient pathway. The African continent covers 54 countries and only contributes to 4% of the global emissions. However, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Africa will also suffer some of the most adverse climate impacts.
  • European-Union – African Union strategy: Caritas Africa will advance its key asks outlined in the joint position paper that was produced in collaboration with Caritas Europa. Emphasis will be placed on the need for Agricultural policy cooperation in food and nutrition development
  • Specific Objectives, Outcomes and Key activities

The Food and Agriculture organisation of the United Nations (FAO) defines[2] a sustainable food system as one which delivers food and nutrition security for all in such a way that the economic, social and environmental bases for future generations are not compromised. The system promotes economic sustainability, has broad benefits for the society and has a positive or neutral impact on the environment.

The 2021 project implementation period will seek to attain the following goal and specific objectives: