Perpetuating pastoral activities in all the countries of the region - PRAPS
Pastoralism is an important livelihood activity in all the countries of the Sahel region: pastoralists and agro-pastoralists represent millions of people in this region that stretches across the African continent. In 2013, the Heads of State of six Sahelian countries, namely Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal, gathered together at the invitation of the Government of Mauritania, the Permanent Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) and the World Bank, with the aim of strengthening the resilience of pastoralist populations in the Sahel.
The resulting Nouakchott Declaration on Pastoralism is the cornerstone of the World Bank’s “Regional Project to Support Pastoralism in the Sahel” which is financed with an amount of USD 248 million. This regional project targets populations whose livelihoods depend mainly on pastoral activities in 6 Sahelian countries, including the G5 Sahel members states Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania. It particularly targets the most vulnerable of these populations, such as youth and women. The objective is to improve and sustain their livelihoods, directly benefiting more than 2 million people, of which at least 30% are women. Secondary beneficiaries will be public and private providers of livestock services, including professional organisations and veterinarians, as well as relevant national and regional institutions. The project is implemented between 2015 and 2021.
Improving more than 2 million people's livelihood
The project operates around five components, namely, 1) animal health, 2) natural resource management, 3) market access, 4) pastoral crisis management and 5) institutional support. Since the start of the project, several key interventions have been launched under PRAPS to strengthen pastoralism in the Sahel, based on the five project components. These include (i) promotion of an enabling environment for pastoral systems through regional and national policy dialogues and consultative frameworks addressing transhumance, trade, food security and crisis prevention; (ii) strengthening regional cooperation, knowledge creation and networking around pastoral systems; (iii) improving the capacity of countries (public, private and community-based) and regional institutions to effectively manage the surveillance and control of regional priority diseases, natural resource management, as well as the facilitation of trade in livestock and livestock products, which has already benefited more than 2 million pastoralists and agro-pastoralists.
More specifically, the project has established some governance mechanisms for the use and management of natural resources (e.g. “Pastoral Charters”) and contributed to cross-border dialogue initiatives aimed at conflict resolution at the local level. In addition, it tested promising initiatives such as the use of digital technologies for animal health management and the collection and dissemination of market prices.
Challenges encountered in the implementation
Despite the progress made, the project’s achievements remain fragile, given the context of growing tensions over access to natural resources, unstable trade policies, situations of insecurity and strained financial resources. The conflict reduction objective of PRAPS is more relevant than ever, in a context of increasing inter-community violence based often due to conflicts between pastoralists and farmers, particularly in Burkina Faso and Mali. Moreover, for most of the beneficiary countries, PRAPS is the first and only pastoralism support project of national scope (many other initiatives have emerged but are generally more fragmented both geographically and thematically); PRAPS is therefore intended to serve as a catalyst in terms of support to pastoralism in the beneficiary countries.
Photo credit : AFD