Tuesday, 13 March, 2018 - 11:30

Lomé 7 March 2018, This Wednesday, March 7, 2018 in Lomé, Togo, ECOWAS launched again, through its Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF), 09 new field projects on social safety nets for food and nutrition in West Africa, bringing to 19 the total number of field projects on food and nutrition safety nets of up to a maximum duration of 24 months each. This initiative benefits from the financial support of the Spanish Government through the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AECID).

"These 09 successful projects we have just launched result from the second call for project proposals of an amount of $ 2.2 million, launched by RAAF on February 24, 2017 and of which 291 concept notes proposals were received. The selection of the projects proposed by the tenderers was done in two stages, namely the evaluation and selection of the project concept notes and the evaluation of the detailed proposals of the said projects whose concept notes were selected during the first stage of the project evaluation (60 concept notes)”, Mr. Ousseini Salifou, Executive Director of RAAF explains. "They back up the efforts of ECOWAS to strengthen the resilience of households and vulnerable communities facing extreme poverty, and more specifically to reduce child malnutrition and climate changes," he concludes.

The launching workshop of these 9 projects allowed RAAF to discuss with project promoters on the efficient and effective management of projects according to ECOWAS standards. Specifically, project promoters were made aware of ECOWAS administrative, accounting and financial procedures as well as the technical requirements for project management with a focus on monitoring-evaluation and communication-visibility.

"AECID that financially supports these field projects is very proud and satisfied with the way they are being implemented in the beneficiary countries. Our partnership with ECOWAS is strong and exemplary. We will continue to mobilize the necessary resources to support the ECOWAS regional agricultural policy, " Mr. Juan Aja, Technical Assistant to RAAF and representative AECID at the workshop, says.

The opportunity was also great for Afric'Mutualité, Benin, Code Utile, Togo and Actions en Faveur des Vulnérables du Niger (AFV-Niger) to share their experiences and lessons learned from the projects resulting from the first call for project proposals on social safety nets they have benefited from.

"While thanking RAAF for the trust placed in us, we wish to assure that we will make every effort possible to ensure that the implementation of these pilot projects is a success. With the discussions, especially the various pieces of advice received from RAAF during the workshop, we think we have been equipped enough to conduct a win-win partnership with ECOWAS and AECID on the ground", Ms. Lamnatou Adam, Executive Director of Songtaba in Ghana promises.

Adding the 19 projects on social safety nets to the 24 field projects resulting from 03 other calls for proposals for projects funded by the French Development Agency (AFD) and ECOWAS through the Food and Nutrition Security Support Program in West Africa (PASANAO), RAAF has just completed the process of 05 calls for proposals for innovative projects that have allowed to select a total of 43 field projects being implemented in the 15 Member States of ECOWAS.

These projects focus on 8 thematic areas, namely (i) food fortification and local production of nutritional supplementation products, (ii) securing pastoral activity systems, (iii) strengthening agricultural credit and insurance systems. (iv) storage and marketing of agricultural products and management of market risks, (v) eating habits: challenges for local resources promotion, (vi) resilient agricultural production techniques, (vii) employment and vocational training of rural youth; and (viii) innovative actions in the field of social safety nets.

RAAF will launch other calls for project proposals in the coming months on other various and diverse thematic areas.

For ECOWAS, it is important that such field projects, which constitute key experimental sites for innovative strategies, are closely monitored in order to draw lessons learned, document them and scale up the good practices resulting from their implementation to design regional projects. For more information, please visit the website of RAAF: www.araa.org