Regional transitional aid programme for food and nutritional security in Sub-Saharan Africa

Project description

Title: Regional programme for food security through transitional aid measures in sub-Saharan Africa
Commissioned by:
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries:
Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan
Lead executing agencies:
Burundi: Organisation de Développement du Diocèse de Bujumbura (ODDBU CARITAS BUJUMBURA); Democratic Republic of the Congo: Ministère du Développement Rural; South Sudan: National Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Cooperatives and Rural Development
Overall term: Burundi and Democratic Republic of the Congo: 2016 to 2019; South Sudan: 2016 to 2018

Context

The Regional transitional aid programme for food and nutritional security in Sub-Saharan Africa works in three Central African regions beset by food crises. People living there who are vulnerable to food insecurity, especially women of reproductive age, suffer from malnutrition and undernourishment.

Bujumbura Rural Province in Burundi was a combat and fallback area for rebels of the National Forces of Liberation until 2009 and is still one of the country’s poorest regions today.

Tanganyika Province in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been a place of refuge for internally displaced persons from surrounding conflict regions since 2011. They are taken in by local host communities, which have to share their already scant resources. About 90 per cent of the households live from subsistence farming, and more than half are affected by severe food insecurity. The state is not in a position to provide the population with basic services owing to its limited performance capacity.

In South Sudan, the civil war that began in December 2013 has unleashed a hunger crisis. Although the region of Western Bar El Ghazal is not directly affected by fighting, it is increasingly suffering from its consequences.

The programme is part of One World, No Hunger, a special initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It helps to mitigate food insecurity, as does the Food and Nutrition Security, Enhanced Resilience Programme.

Objective

The food situation has improved in vulnerable households, especially for women of reproductive age.

Approach

The regional programme builds on existing partner structures and on past and present development cooperation projects in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan. Joint planning and implementation of the activities strengthen the skills and resources of state and civil society partners. The programme contributes towards achieving the objectives specified in the countries’ national strategies to raise agricultural production, improve food security and reduce poverty.

Burundi. The programme sets out to improve agricultural production by means of development measures for rural producer groups and service providers, through agricultural inputs such as improved and adapted seed and tools, and through the creation of productive infrastructure, for example roads and storage facilities. Producer groups are trained in cultivation methods, in producing seed and plants and in establishing self-help organisations.

A new communication strategy is designed to help improve eating habits in households, notably with regard to the needs of risk groups like young children and pregnant and nursing women. Individual initiatives, including training and campaigns, are carried out in communities, for instance by women's groups or local committees.

Democratic Republic of the Congo. The programme promotes food production and the improvement of income in needy households. To this end, it is carrying out training measures, introducing new technologies (such as small-scale irrigation for vegetable-growing and fish ponds) and providing agricultural inputs. Wells are being rehabilitated or built in order to improve drinking water supply. On a smaller scale, rural road networks and small bridges are being restored. In particular, these labour-intensive activities target women and young people, who are the hardest hit by the impacts of crises and conflicts.

Training is offered to enhance nutrition and social cohesion in village communities. This approach allows for on-the-job training of extension workers and advisors on such issues as agriculture, fish farming, nutrition and education; it ensures the sustainability of these services on site. Nutritional advice is geared in particular to mothers of malnourished children and is delivered with the involvement of health centre workers.

South Sudan. Agricultural production is being diversified and increased, especially in women-led households. By way of support, the programme provides advice in farmer field schools in addition to agricultural inputs and equipment, for instance for use in small-scale irrigation. Households receive training on creating gardens, improving cultivation methods for basic foodstuffs and on further important nutrition issues.

Dietary advice is offered to improve nutrition, especially for women. Topics include the selection, preservation and preparation of foodstuffs as well as the planning of balanced meals using suitable methods. The measures are implemented by local or international non-governmental organisations.