PASAN- SECAL project proposal

    Food and nutrition security context in sub-Saharan Africa.
    In 2017, an estimated one in four people in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) were undernourished (FAO et al.,2018). In 2018, the Food Security, Nutrition and Climate Change Statistics for Africa (FAO 2018) revealed that 20% of the population in Africa is 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 of these deficiencies weigh heavily on health and society. Chronic hunger, malnutrition, and threats to food security put people at risk of increased non-communicable diseases such as childhood stunting, 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), the majority of food in SSA is produced by smallholder farmers. Yet they remain vulnerable to food insecurity and poverty as a result of recurrent droughts, insect infestations such as the recent locust outbreak in the East African region, water scarcity, and other barriers to food access.

    In 2020, the coronavirus crisis caused disruptions in food supply chains and production factors. Due to the strain on the global economy, most people have lost their sources of income, which has reduced their purchasing power and, as a result, households have had to reduce the quantity and quality of their food. According to the United Nations World Food Programme, due to income losses, an estimated 130 million people will be acutely food insecure by the end of 2020. This is in addition to the 135 million people who were already insecure before the crisis.

    Summary of the project
    The fourth year of the PASAN project will prioritize information mapping and evidence gathering through engagements with members of the national Caritas implementing PASAN in the country: Dr. Congo, Mali, Uganda, Niger, and Zambia. This phase will promote learning exchanges among the five organizations and produce resource materials that will be shared with other national Caritas in the Africa region. Project funds will be used to support advocacy efforts to influence regional discussions on sustainable food systems. During the implementation period from January 2021 to December 2021, the Caritas Africa Regional Executive Secretariat will undertake the following advocacy actions:

    Information Mapping and Evidence Gathering: Caritas Africa will undertake a survey to gather information on the results of the PASAN project, assess the impact of current food and nutrition security interventions, document linkages with climate change mitigation and adaptation, and propose policy recommendations for internal and external actors.
    Capacity building in sustainable food systems: Based on the information gathered from the survey, Caritas Africa will bring together the five member organizations to discuss the results of the study. This gathering will receive training on production systems that are based on agro-ecological approaches, integrate indigenous knowledge, and support food sovereignty and the livelihoods of small-scale farmers. The activity will seek to engage a resource person from the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa based on their experience in this policy area.
    Development of policy positions: The survey, training workshop and existing literature on sustainable food systems will be used to develop policy briefs for engagement in UN processes and policy dialogues with African Union decision makers.
    Facilitating online dialogue with policy makers: A number of online sessions will be organized to facilitate awareness of emerging issues and also provide a platform for local capacity sharing.
    Building strategic alliances: Caritas Africa will join a regional civil society coalition working on sustainable food systems and a thematic working group of the African Union.
    Policy priorities to be addressed by the project

    Caritas Africa will develop policy positions based on the following priorities

    The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program: which aims to improve and promote agriculture throughout Africa by increasing agricultural productivity in African countries by at least 6% per year through a 10% annual budget allocation to the agricultural sector by 2015. (Mali and Niger exceeded the 10% target).
    Sustainable Development Goal 2: which aims to find sustainable solutions to eliminate hunger in all its forms by 2030 and ensure food security. The goal is to ensure that everyone, everywhere, has enough good quality food to lead a healthy life[1]. This area of action will be followed by engagements with national stakeholders and the voluntary national review process.
    Paris Agreement on Climate Change: The agreement aims to increase the capacity of countries to address the impacts of climate change and make financial flows consistent with a low-emissions, climate-resilient path. The African continent has 54 countries and contributes only 4% of global emissions. However, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Africa will also experience some of the most negative climate impacts.
    European Union and African Union strategy: Caritas Africa will advance its key demands outlined in the joint position paper that was produced in collaboration with Caritas Europa. Emphasis will be placed on the need for cooperation in agricultural policy for the development of food and nutrition.
    Specific objectives, outcomes and key activities
    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines[2] a sustainable food system as one that ensures food and nutritional security for all without compromising the economic, social and environmental foundations of future generations. This system promotes economic sustainability, has broad societal benefits and has a positive or neutral impact on the environment.

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