ECHO Soudure - Prevention of under-nutrition through food assistance and nutrition, an ECHO financed humanitarian aid project

The most recent food crisis impacting agro-pastoralists in the Sahel region led to the ECHO response plan of the 2016 Humanitarian Implementation Plan for Burkina Faso (“ECHO-Soudure”), covering the Oudalan province and provinces in the East and Centre-Nord regions. It is an emergency aid action financed by DG ECHO and led by a set of NGOs including the Sahel Consortium under the leadership of OXFAM, within a common framework of action comprising Christian Aid, Danish Refugees Council, GVC, HOPE’87, OCADES, SOS Sahel, Action against Hunger and Save the Children.

This project aims to ease access for agro-pastoralists in Soum province to markets where they sell their cattle as well as improve their food security. Soum province is located in the Sahel region of Burkina Faso. It is an agriculture and livestock production area that is chronically unstable. Most of the population is not able to keep food reserves year round. The overall objective was to contribute to reduce under-nutrition and food insecurity of very poor households in Burkina Faso

This project has replaced direct food distribution with monetary transfers through vouchers. The intervention benefitted to 4.498 very poor households, 589 pregnant and lactating women and 1.428 children from 6 to 23 months. Firstly, allowing the access of these households to food during the lean period has had the effect of protecting their livelihoods. Secondly, it has helped vulnerable groups such as pregnant and lactating women and children aged 0 to 23 months eliminate under-nutrition. It has contributed to ensuring a good coordination of humanitarian aid in the Sahel region. Finally, nutrition education was also provided, and children aged 6 to 59 months were screened for signs of malnutrition. The project also advocated for the institutionalization of countrywide social safety nets.