Two Associate Vice-Presidents from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) – Donal Brown of the Programme Management Department and Jyotsna Puri of the Strategy and Knowledge Department – are conducting an official visit to Senegal and The Gambia from 13 to 16 June 2022 to meet with country authorities and beneficiaries of IFAD-supported programmes in the two countries, as well as the SAHEL regional programme. They are accompanied by Sana Jatta, Regional Director of the West and Central Africa Division.
The visit is taking place in a Sahelian context battered by the combined effects of climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine. The resulting slowdown is taking a serious toll on production systems and their contribution to the economy, and on growth and efforts to improve living conditions – in addition to raising the risk of food insecurity in the subregion.
During their stay in Senegal, the IFAD delegation will hold working sessions with the country authorities and the IFAD subregional office team, before going on to meet with representatives of United Nations agencies and development partners.
At a workshop held on Tuesday, 14 June, IFAD and its partners will engage in an exchange on their experiences with regional programmes now under way in the Sahel. The workshop is intended to create a positive dynamic for technical and financial partners working on regional programmes in the Sahel region to share practical experiences, and to enhance synergies and partnerships under strategies initiated by the United Nations, governments and subregional organizations such as G5Sahel, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS). IFAD’s joint Sahel programme is being implemented in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), the other Rome-based agencies, and includes financing from both IFAD and the Green Climate Fund in the amount of US$500 million. Activities commenced in 2021 in six countries and will be expanded to all of the Sahelian countries.
Following the meetings to be held in the Senegalese capital, the IFAD officials will continue on to The Gambia where they will meet with country authorities and conduct a field visit to households benefiting from the Agricultural Development: Resilience of Organizations for Transformative Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ROOTS). Here the IFAD delegation will hear from producers about the challenges they face.
Since 1979, IFAD has participated in financing 19 rural development programmes and projects in Senegal, investing US$361.2 million of a total US$865.5 million and directly benefiting 544,643 rural households. In The Gambia, from 1982 to the present day, IFAD has funded 11 rural development programmes and projects for an investment of US$113.53 million, directly benefiting 195,069 rural households.