The Sahel is home to over 135 million people – a population that is expected to double by 2050. Of these, almost 13 million people are already undernourished people, which places unprecedented pressure on food systems and a risk of jeopardising the achievement of SDG2.
In order to produce enough nutritious food to feed an increased population, the Sahel will need to combat the already rampant effects of climate change and land degradation. More than anywhere else on Earth, the Sahel is on the frontline of climate change and millions of locals are already facing the impact. Persistent droughts, lack of food, conflicts over dwindling natural resources and mass migration are just some of the consequences. The region is also disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change because of its dependence on agriculture.
Interventions directed to rural communities, restore the land and improving agricultural value chains are urgently needed. These require supportive policies, incentives for communities, effective engagement of the private sector and continuous monitoring and learning.
The Green Climate Fund’s umbrella programme for the Great Green Wall Initiative (GCF-GGWI) set up by the GCF, IFAD and UNCCD, will set up a framework that builds on the achievements of the earlier GGW initiative. It will identify transformational approaches to better support countries in implementing actions prioritized in their national development plans and strategies that help to restore land, soil, agricultural production, green cover, access to markets and nutrition.
The umbrella programme will focus on GCF projects and programmes supporting the GGWI. Its key pillars include:
- Investment in small and medium-sized farms and strengthening of value chains, local markets, organization of exports
- Land restoration and sustainable management of ecosystems
- Climate resilient infrastructures and access to renewable energy
- Favourable economic and institutional framework for effective governance
- Capacity building
IFAD and GCF scale-up action to improve life for millions of people and restore ecosystems in Africa’s Great Green Wall
To “green” the Sahel, we need big plans and small actions
Greening the Sahara: the Great Green Wall Initiative
In 2009, I travelled by road to Timbuktu, Mali on a short field trip. As we made our way down the dusty roads, I remember wondering what could possibly pull this arid, sparsely populated land into relative prosperity.