Delegates from Fifteen (15)’ECOWAS members states have brain -stormed over issues relating to the concept of social safety nets for Food Security and nutrition in West Africa in during a 3days regional training of trainers workshop in Ghana.
The workshop was also aimed at allowing national actors in ECOWAS member states to formulate and implement projects of social safety nets and also to have a common understanding of the concepts of social safety nets.
The training which was organized through plenary session promoted the exchange of experiences among participants . As case studies and practicals exercises were presented.
However, during the training, suggestions/ recommendations of the participants were incorporated into the training modules which will be used later for the animation of national training workshops.
More so, the participant contributed to the validation of the study entitled “ Support for the design of a regional framework of exchange on social safety nets in West Africa.”
In an exclusive interview with the Chief Technical Advisor Strengthening of ECOWAS Capacity for the Implementation of the ECOWAP/CAADP, Leonidas Hitimana said, Africa has recorded some level of progress in terms of production however, the issue of food security and malnutrition in the sub-sahara Africa continuous to remain challenge.
This he said, social protection related to food security and nutrition plays a vital role in reducing poverty and improving food security in West Africa.
” As part of the implementation of ECOWAP , the ECOWAS regional agriculture policy , it appears that several countries in West Africa do not have significant experience in the implementation of projects and , programs related to social safety nets in line with a national social protection strategy” , he noted.
According to him, it is in this backdrop the in 2012 , ECOWAS initiated a Regional Program of Support to the National Social Security Nets in West Africa.
This program promotes preventive social safety net programs ( predictably and enrolled in the the duration of interventions targeting people on the basis of vulnerability rather than on the basis of exposure to a shock.
This is in opposition to reactive safety nets which aims at responding to shocks and crisis.
ECOWAS benefits from the support of the Spanish International Cooperation Agency for Development (AECID) to finance innovative on the ground projects in the area of safety nets for food security.
According to him, the projects are executed by various development actors in ECOWAS Member states.
The selection of projects backers is done through call for proposals managed by Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food(RAAF/ECOWAS) .
Through a first for proposals launched in January 2015 , 10 projects on social safety nets have been selected for an aggregate grant amount of $ 2, 146, 789. A second call for proposal will be launched by the end of 2016.
The 3 days regional training of trainers for delegates from 15 ECOWAS countries was organized by the Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF) with technical regional and financial support from Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) , and AECID.
By: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/NewsGhana.com.Gh