2012 Sahel food crisis - State as of 19 March 2012
SDC Humanitarian Aid (SDC-HA) in the Sahel
In line with its humanitarian Medium Term Program West Africa 2010-12, SDC-HA intervenes in case of humanita-rian crises in the priority countries of SDC’s Develo-pment Cooperation. In the Sahel region, these are Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Chad. SDC’s long term presen-ce on the ground with Cooperation Offices and their corres-ponding networks allows for close situation monitoring and targeted interventions. Particularly in the field of food security, short term life saving responses are coupled with longer term development activities, mitigating some of the root causes of recurrent food insecurity. This collaboration of SDC’s humanitarian and development branches has been successfully applied during 2005 and 2010 droughts, but also on various occasions following floods.
Food security is the main thematic focus of SDC-HA in West Africa and particularly in the Sahel. Consequently, there is a longstanding and close collaboration with World Food Programme (WFP) and specialized NGOs in that region. WFP is supported with financial contributions and through the secondment of experts of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid unit (SHA). As such, WFP Regional Office for West Africa has been reinforced by SHA experts for emergency preparedness and response since 2008 and by experts for cash and voucher transfers since late 2010.