Charities distribute aid as part of early response to food insecurity in Senegal
Humanitarian agencies in Senegal are this week distributing aid as part of an early response to food shortage, which has been caused by the late onset of rainfall last year. This early action will help alleviate the suffering of those affected and reduce the need for them to resort to negative coping actions such as taking children out of schools, eating their seeds, and migrating or selling their farming implements.
African Risk Capacity (ARC) and Start Network members, including Catholic Relief Services, Action Against Hunger, Oxfam, Plan International, World Vision and Save the Children, will be acting alongside the Government of Senegal in advance of the lean season to enable farmers and their families to protect livestock and other valuable assets. More than 200,000 people are to be helped through cash interventions, and even more people through nutrition and agricultural projects.
Action Against Hunger will be working in Saint-Louis and Matam; Catholic Relief Services will be working in Diourbel; Oxfam in Louga; Plan International in Thiès; Save the Children Senegal in Kaffrine and; World Vision in Kolda.
The projects, totalling US $10.6m, are being funded through a ‘parametric’ insurance policy issued by African Risk Capacity Insurance Limited based on pre-agreed scientific triggers. This is part of the US $23.1m payout made to Government of Senegal and Start Network last November to provide early support to those affected by drought during the 2019 agricultural season. The payout to Start Network remains the biggest-ever funding allocation to civil society for early humanitarian action. Start Network’s response will complement that of the Government of Senegal, which will receive a payout of US $12.5m.
Aliou Diouf, Start Network’s ARC Replica Manager said: “It is so important that work is starting at this time and that the people of Senegal who are affected or at risk will receive this help before developing negative coping strategies. Start Network will work alongside the government to help people who may suffer during the lean season. This is a new way of working, unlike the current model in which people have to wait to receive help after a crisis has taken place, even though today we can predict many crises much earlier.”
UN-ASG Mohamed Beavogui, Director-General of ARC Agency said: “The payout of $23.1m to Senegal and the Start Network by ARC Insurance Ltd continues to be a milestone in our work. It could not have come at a better time. We are glad that the affected population in Senegal are receiving this necessary assistance not only to cope with the drought but also to adapt to the compounding threats imposed by the economic and social constraints of COVID-19.”
The Start Network, a global network of aid agencies, has developed the programme because it believes that pre-emptive disaster financing could revolutionise the aid sector and catalyse a new way of preparing for crises, helping to create more resilient communities.
The initiative, known as ARC Replica, is run in a partnership between the Start Network, the Government of Senegal, the African Risk Capacity (ARC), and the World Food Programme (WFP), funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the German Development Bank, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW). ARC Ltd is also jointly funded by KfW on behalf of BMZ and the UK’s Department for International Development.