Building Resilience in the Sahel Programme
Across Mali, Mauritania and Niger, 3 million at-risk people, including 1.9 million children, are targeted with an integrated resilience package, over four years (2019-2023).
The Sahel region is prone to recurrent crisis, potentially reversing development gains, but it is also a land of opportunities. The communities there have shown extraordinary resilience to the shocks they face.
With the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), UNICEF has launched an innovative programme aiming to strengthen the capacity of systems, communities and invididuals to cope on their own with the shocks that are bound to come. Under this programme, UNICEF interventions converge with those of the World Food Programme (WFP) and other partners’ in the same geographic locations, targeting the same communities, in order to provide a critical mass of resilience interventions that will achieve a sustainable impact.
They talk about resilience in the Sahel
Interventions to strengthen national and decentralized systems to improve access to equitable adaptive social services across 6 social sectors.
The programme supports adaptive and adapted systems at national and local levels,
in order to provide risk-informed and child-centered social services:
With community health system strengthening, health actors are supported to provide uninterrupted essential healthcare services for children and women, including immunization, prenatal and postnatal care, HIV care and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) response care
Eliminating acute malnutrition starts with prevention − ensuring mothers and children benefit from a package of targeted interventions that provide improved access to nutritious and safe diets and life-saving services and practices.
Constructing climate-resilience piped water supply systems, serving communities including schools and health centres with sustainable access to clean water, under the strong ownership of municipalities.
Alternative and adaptive education opportunities are developed, for continuous learning during crisis. Communities and municipalities are empowered to support an equitable access, retention and protection of girls and boys in schools, and to improve services for out of school girls and boys.
Holistic local child protection systems are promoted, and the capacities of protection actors built for the identification, referral and case management of vulnerable girls and boys and the provision of gender sensitive services for vulnerable children.
National social protection systems are enabled to respond to shocks and provide the most vulnerable children with cash transfers and complementary services.
Interventions to strengthen community resilience through multisectoral community capacity building and engagement.
Women and men in communities are empowered to lead in the planning, implementation, management and, monitoring of prevention and response to shocks, and contribute to community-led service provision. UNICEF promotes community-based systems, interlinked with decentralized social systems. As an example, with the community-led total sanitation approach, the access rate of households to latrines has increased from 10.3% to 100% in the municipality of Bagaroua in Niger. The populations have learned good hygiene practices such as handwashing with soap or ash and water, and the cleanliness of their environment to prevent disease and the health of children. Each village has developed and implemented a monitoring plan, and community self-assessment activities, leading to providing schools with latrines (built by the people themselves) and developing community water safety plans
Interventions to strengthen individuals – including children and youth - resilience through sustainable social and individual behaviour change.
Children and adolescents are involved as actors in changing behaviour and promoting sustainable development. Resilience is based on their initiatives and responsibilities, as well as those of their families and communities, with specific local goals and control of results. As an example, youth have mobilized to counter misinformation and fake news during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Sahel