Growing Resilience

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Growing Resilience

Concern’s Growing Resilience campaign is standing with communities in vulnerable parts of the world to help them withstand food crises and build towards a more stable future.

Living in a state of chronic crisis:

Throughout the Horn of Africa and the Sahel, droughts and food crises are becoming more frequent and severe.

Factors including climate change, conflict and fluctuations in food prices are increasing the impact and scale of such crises, leaving many communities unable to rely on the livelihoods which have traditionally sustained them.

In 2010 and 2011, two consecutive seasons with below average rainfall left 12 million people across Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. In 2012, another 18 million were facing a food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel, the third in the region in 7 years.

And because the recurring nature of these disasters has eroded assets and forced people to sell their most important possessions, many communities now face a nutrition crisis even in years of good rainfall.  

Growing resilience:

Concern is clear that in poor and vulnerable contexts, such as the Horn of Africa and the Sahel, building resilience to food and nutrition crises is central to our vision of eliminating poverty.

Our approach is grounded in an understanding that it is not just one factor, but rather the interplay of multiple factors, that makes a community particularly vulnerable to disaster. A poor harvest may contribute to food shortages, for example, but if the community also lacks a source of clean water, illness will dramatically increase the incidence of malnutrition.

We also understand that vulnerability cannot simply be addressed through programming at community level but also requires us to tackle the power imbalances that keep people poor. Factors such as gender inequality or lack of access to power often lie at the root of more visible causes of vulnerability. For this reason, we are also committed to campaign and advocate on the wider political issues that perpetuate hunger and poverty.

Our campaign:

We believe that governments need to support both programming and policy to create the right conditions for resilience in the Horn of Africa and Sahel. In doing so, they should capitalise on the strong evidence and learning emerging from our  programmes about the best ways of growing resilience to food and nutrition crises.    

We are therefore asking the following:

  1. The UK and Irish government, and a minimum of one Sahel or Horn of Africa government, implements resilience programmes based on credible evidence.
  2. A minimum of one Sahel or Horn of Africa government, implements pro-poor policy that strengthens resilience to food and nutrition insecurity, based on credible evidence.

What you can do:

We want you to join us in calling on the government to their part in growing resilience in the Horn of Africa and Sahel.

Visit our resilient village and see how its inhabitants, like those in the Sahel or the Horn of Africa, can withstand a variety of disasters through community resilience programming.