Agencies give Senegalese food aid

Thursday April 30 2020

Beneficiaries of food parcels load their good onto a horse cart during the launch of the distribution of food at the Guinaw Rails cultural center in Pikine on April 28, 2020. PHOTO | AFP


Humanitarian agencies in Senegal are this week distributing aid as part of an early response to food shortage, which has been caused by the late onset of rainfall last year AU insurance agency, the African Risk Capacity (ARC), has announced.

According to an ARC press statement, the $10.6m are being funded through an insurance policy issued by the agency, based on pre-agreed scientific triggers. 

They are part of the $23.1 payouts made to the Government of Senegal and StartNetwork last November to provide early support to those affected by drought during the 2019 agricultural season. 

This early action, the statement explained, will help alleviate suffering and reduce the need for the affected populations to resort to negative coping actions such as withdrawing children from schools, eating their seeds, and migrating or selling their farming implements.

The statement said that ARC and Start Network members, including the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Action Against Hunger, Oxfam, Plan International, World Vision and Save the Children, will be acting alongside the Government of Senegal to enable farmers and their families to protect livestock and other valuable assets.

More than 200,000 people are to be helped through cash interventions, and even more people through nutrition and agricultural projects.


The different agencies will be operating in different regions, with Action Against Hunger working in Saint-Louis and Matam; CRS in Diourbel; Oxfam in Louga; Plan International in Thiès; Save the Children Senegal in Kaffrine and; World Vision in Kolda. 

“It is so important that work is starting at this time and that the people of Senegal who are affected or at risk will receive this help before developing negative coping strategies,” the statement quoted Aliou Diouf, Start Network’s ARC Replica Manager, as saying.

ARC is a specialised agency of the AU governed by and working with the continental union’s member states to improve their capacities to better plan and respond to natural disasters and protect the food security of their vulnerable populations.

The agency was established by a treaty in 2012 to strengthen government-led disaster risk management and financing systems through enhancing capacity on early warning and risk quantification.

With the support of the UK, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, France, The Rockefeller Foundation and the US, ARC assists AU member states in reducing the risk of loss and damage caused by extreme weather events affecting Africa’s populations by providing disaster risk insurance, targeted responses to natural disasters.

Since 2014, 32 policies have been signed by member states with $73 million paid in premiums for a cumulative insurance coverage of $553 million for the protection of 55 million vulnerable population in participating countries.