Lomé, Togo, May 28, 2018: In view of the current food crisis and the crucial importance of the implementation of the Regional Food Security Reserve (RFSR) wanted and decided by the Heads of State and Government, the ECOWAS Commission is organizing from 4 to 6 June 2018 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, an Urgent Meeting of Experts and of the Specialized Ministerial Technical Committee on Agriculture Environment and Water Resources (AEWR) to deliberate on the governance of the Regional Food Security Reserve and the appropriate responses to the ongoing crisis.
The preparatory Experts’ Meeting (4-5 June 2018) to that of the Ministers (6 June 2018) will discuss a set of issues that will be submitted to arbitration and validation for their adoption by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers.
In addition, and considering the alarming food and nutrition security situation in the Sahel and West Africa, Member states will consult each other on their expectations from regional institutions, and in particular from the RFSR, in order to strengthen their capacity for national responses to the food, nutrition and pastoral crisis.
It is expected from these Ouagadougou meetings that: (i) the Ministers for Agriculture of ECOWAS Member States adopt guidelines on emergency measures in response to the current crisis, (ii) Ministers for Agriculture of ECOWAS Member States are informed on the state of implementation of the Regional Food Security Reserve, (iii) the Regulatory provisions relating to the operationalization of the RFSR are validated by the Specialized Ministerial Technical Committee-AEWR (Management Committee and operating Regulations).
Participants to these meetings include: (i) High Level Experts, ECOWAP/CAADP-PNISAN Focal Points at country level, (ii) Food Crisis Prevention and Management Officers or Directors General of National Bodies in charge of Food Security Stocks Management, (iii) Representatives of the ECOWAS Technical Partner Organizations, (iv) Representatives of financial partners, (v) Representatives of the socio-professional agricultural organizations and (vi) Ministers for Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security of ECOWAS Member States.
As a reminder, the objective of the Regional Food Security Reserve is to: (i) complement efforts of Member States to provide rapid and diversified food and nutritional assistance, (ii) express regional solidarity to Member States and affected populations through transparent, fair and predictable mechanisms, (iii) contribute to food sovereignty and the political, economic and trade integration of West Africa.