Dakar, Senegal –The United States Government and the Permanent Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) are expanding their partnership to support broad-based economic growth and resilience in West Africa. Through a new agreement, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) pledges to provide up to U.S. $241 million of support over the next four years for activities that will:
- Further regional integration by harmonizing regional policies, regulations and standards that are vital to trade integration, food security and natural resource management;
- Improve conservation and resilient, low-emissions growth by helping communities and governments to adapt to the impacts of climate variability and change, and to better manage natural resources;
- Increase regional trade and investment by improving the competitiveness of West African farmers, firms, and the logistics and transport sectors. In addition, this assistance will be used to increase access to clean, reliable energy, and increasing private sector investment in energy; and
- Improve sustainable agricultural activity by improving access to quality agricultural inputs (especially seeds and fertilizer) and increased use of climate-smart agricultural and other productivity-enhancing practices.
The agreement was signed by the USAID West Africa Regional Mission Director, Alexandre Deprez, and the Executive Secretary of CILSS, Djime Adoum.
“Through USAID, the U.S. Government has supported CILSS for several decades to strengthen the institution and regional development, thus contributing to improve the social and economic well-being of the resilient people of the Sahel and West Africa,” said Mr. Deprez at the signing ceremony. “This multi-faceted support has promoted regional integration, improved resilience and the development of regional trade and investment. This is in line with the objectives of the agricultural policy of ECOWAS (ECOWAP) and of regional and national agricultural investment programs.”
Mr. Adoum stated “For over four decades, aide from the American people through USAID to CILSS has strengthened the institutional capacity of CILSS to develop regional and national strategies and to develop tools and methodologies for food security and natural resources management. USAID’s assistance has also supported the capacity building of governments, NGOs and civil society in the field of food security and the fight against desertification.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
CILSS was created in response to the devastating drought in the Sahel in 1973. Its five-year work plan (2015-2019) is built on six strategic areas: i) Food and Nutrition Security; ii) Natural Resource Management and Climate Change; iii) Water management; iv) Access to Markets and Management of Cross-Border Flows;
v) Population, Gender and Development; and vi) Management and Leadership. For more information please visit http://www.cilss.bf/.
The USAID/West Africa regional mission’s goal is to promote social and economic well-being advanced by West Africans. Spanning 21 countries, USAID/West Africa designs and implements programs with West African partners to strengthen systems of non-violent conflict management, support economic growth, and expand quality health services. The American people, through USAID, provide economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 100 countries worldwide. For more information please visit http://www.usaid.gov/west-africa-regional.