Supporting the Dispositif National for the prevention and management of food crises and disasters

Project description

Title: Supporting the Dispositif National for the prevention and management of food crises and disasters
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Niger
Lead executing agency: Prime Minister’s Office, Niger
Overall term: 2009 to 2015

Context

For decades, the Republic of the Niger has been affected by recurring natural disasters and the fallout from political conflicts. The agricultural sector is weakened by severe climate variability, accompanied not only by increasingly frequent periods of drought and floods but also by plagues of locusts and pest infestations. Food supplies must be organised for returnees and refugees from neighbouring countries, often within an extremely short space of time. The result is frequent food crises. Impending climate change threatens to exacerbate the country’s chronic food insecurity even further in the future.

To counteract the increasing occurrence of acute food crises, the Government of the Niger established a coordination mechanism now known as the Dispositif National de Prévention et de Gestion des Catastrophes et des Crises Alimentaires (national body for disaster and food crises prevention and management ) in 1998. It is currently supported by 13 international donors.

Objective

The performance capacity of the Dispositif National for the prevention and management of food crises and disasters is strengthened at national, regional and municipal levels.

Approach

The Government of the Niger has enshrined food security in the constitution and developed national strategies and programmes. The main tasks of the Dispositif National include systematically monitoring the food situation of the people, developing preventative plans, building and managing food reserves and carrying out food security measures in crisis situations. The most important of these are distributing grain, selling grain at reduced prices and subsidising seed and animal feed.

The project advises on technical, strategic and policy issues relating to food security, including monitoring and evaluation. The principal focus of the advisory services is on organisational management, data collection and analysis and decentralisation of activities at regional and municipal levels. The experts responsible in the regional and municipal administrations and representatives from civil society are involved in the activities carried out by the Dispositif National in each of the country’s eight regions and in three pilot municipalities.

A consulting firm is implementing the project’s decentralisation component. The GFA Consulting Group is assisting the project with the professional oversight of the Planning Ministry’s programming and budgeting processes in line with the regulations set out in the country’s national development strategies.

Results achieved so far

Since 2009, the Federal Republic of Germany has provided approximately nine million euros for the purchase of grain and seed. During this period of increasingly acute food crises, six out of ten households have required food aid, which they received via the Dispositif National’s joint fund.

Reforms and measures to improve structures have significantly enhanced the performance capacity of the Dispositif National. Thanks to better monitoring and the development of several databases, the Government of the Niger is able to make decisions on a more informed and timely basis. A decentralised structure has been established for the Dispositif in the country’s eight regions. This enables it to collect more accurate data and thereby carry out measures to alleviate food crises that are better tailored to the specific situation.

Thanks to the successful work of the Dispositif, national and international partners, as well as the people of the Niger themselves, now have greater confidence in the effectiveness of the national food security efforts.