Helping the most vulnerable rural populations and supporting civil society
As for many African countries, Senegal is experiencing an important economic growth since more than a decade. However, this growth is only benefitting a small number of people and the majority of the population still lives under the poverty line. In 2015, ACTED’s action focused on supporting the populations in the Matam region, one of the poorest regions of the country, located at the border with Mauritania and mainly agropastoral, as well as on accompanying two important networks of civil society organisations from West and Central Africa, to enable them to play their role as development actors in their respective countries.
Developing a structural response to recurrent crises
In 2015, after poor harvests due to a low rainy season, ACTED teams in Senegal were mobilized to respond to the food emergency. In partnership with the Canadian NGO CECI, ACTED provided relief assistance through cash transfers and nutritional supplements to the 3,435 poorest households of the Ranerou department. ACTED also contributed to implement Collective for reinforced response to food insecurity in Senegal (CORRIANS) in order to link with the social safety nets developed by the government and to provide a structural response to the poorest people.
Supporting NGO networks to influence public policies
ACTED supports the Western African NGOs platforms network (REPAOC, based in Dakar) and the Central African NGOs network (REPONGAC, based in Kinshasa), representing over 4,000 African non-governmental organisations. The project, launched in 2013, aims at strengthening civil society in those two regions, developing dialog between development actors. In 2015, particular efforts have been made to improve internal communication tools of those networks and strengthen their financial autonomy.
Responding to the food and nutritional emergency and strengthening households’ and civil society empowerment
Populations from Western Africa need strong coalitions, structured and able to represent them as well as a social aid to support the most vulnerable in case of crisis in the Sahelian region. Therefore, ACTED will pursue in 2016 its support to the local civil society, and will also continue to support the poorest with emergency assistance and to strengthen households’ resilience, while engaging advocacy for a global response to food insecurity and malnutrition in Senegal.
On the way to accountability
Despite all efforts made by the team in 2015 to reach all the villages of the targeted area within the framework of the food crisis response programs, some very isolated and unmapped hamlets were missed. ACTED set up a free phone number system enabling communities to report omissions very fast and to include those hamlets in the program.
Supporting civil society development and providing structural assistance to the most vulnerable people
The population of West Africa need strong, structured coalitions that have the capacity to represent them, as well as social assistance to support the most vulnerable during crises affecting the Sahel region. In 2015, ACTED continued supporting civil society as well as pursue its emergency response activities benefiting the poorest while advocating for a global response to food insecurity and malnutrition in Senegal.