French and European support
French support for food security policies in West Africa
France supports the agricultural policies of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), tasked with implementing the CAADP in this region:
This support is political: in Paris on 9 December 2008, a ministerial meeting devised a road map, which resulted in the ECOWAS International Conference on Financing Regional Agricultural Policy in West Africa in Abuja on 11 and 12 November 2009. It also takes the form of technical assistance to draw up national and regional programmes for Agricultural Investments and Agricultural Political Instruments working to step up production, regulate markets and reduce food vulnerability.
France is also helping to strengthen the Network of West African Farm Worker and Producer Organizations (ROPPA) and the Partnership for Africa Livestock Development (Alive). It supports the multi-donor trust fund managed by the World Bank, whose purpose is to back the implementation of the CAADP, with $1.4 million.
Lastly, France is supporting the Emergency Prevention System (EMPRES-RO) for pests and cross- border diseases of animals and plants in the western region. West Africa and North Africa (Algeria, Chad, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Tunisia) are involved in the programme.
More can be done to improve the coherency, complementarity and coordination of food security actions
The coherency and effectiveness of French assistance and European assistance for food security (food assistance, food facility, thematic food security programme as part of the cooperation instrument for development, European Development Fund, European Investment Bank) could be enhanced:
• The delegation of funds between the Commission, which is in charge of European assistance, and development agencies of Member States should be encouraged, which would make for more efﬁciency gains in terms of instruction and implementation of projects;
• Blending of European funds and national concessional loans could increase the impact of the two types of instruments and optimize the financing options proposed to partners.
Other partners in addition to States and their development agencies need to get involved. Decentralized cooperation put into action in local or regional projects can contribute to improving food security. It is especially crucial to mobilize private funding.
To this end, we need to bolster the capacities of the ﬁnancial systems of developing countries, particularly when it comes to funds for the agricultural and agri-food industry. We also need to support innovative ﬁnancing mechanisms that could provide medium- and long-term capital to private investors, such as the African Agriculture Fund (AAF). Lastly, we need to urge private investors, in the North and South alike, to invest in agriculture, food security and nutrition in line with the principles of social and environmental responsibility.
Updated in December 2010