Sub-Saharan Africa: strengthening resilience to safeguard agricultural livelihoods

  • 01/12/2021
  • FAO

In 2019 and 2020 alone, sub-Saharan Africa was hit by a once-in-a-century desert locust upsurge and the COVID-19 pandemic while simultaneously facing conflict, droughts, and floods among other shocks and stressors. More than 60 percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa depends on agriculture for food and income. Smallholder farmers, pastoralists, fishers, and foresters are the key change agents in restoring and improving livelihoods in Africa. By carrying out interventions that are both anticipatory and reactive, tackling the root causes of fragility, the challenges facing food security and nutrition can be addressed. In the effort to reach Zero Hunger by 2030, the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable agri-food systems must be supported for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind. This publication highlights how FAO is working with partners and governments to strengthen the ability of communities in sub-Saharan Africa and food systems to withstand and rapidly recover from crises. The organization is contributing to safeguarding the livelihoods of the most vulnerable agro/pastoral households in sub-Saharan Africa through a range of activities, including capacity building, knowledge sharing, food security and nutrition analyses, and anticipatory actions. The achievements and interventions presented in this publication are not a comprehensive list of all of FAO’s resilience work in the region but rather provide an overview of what is being done to reach our common goal. This is made possible through strong partnerships at all levels. Resource partners’ valuable contributions in particular are critical to these successes. By strengthening collaboration with local, regional, and global partners, the persistent challenges related to food‑crisis contexts are tackled to build back better livelihoods and agri-food systems, to ensure a positive future for the African people.