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Food and Nutrition Security through Equitable and Climate Smart Food Systems (Yoti Yoti)
Aiming to increase vulnerable households’ resilience to food and nutrition insecurity by strengthening food systems in Tonkolili and Port Loko Districts in North West Sierra Leone.
Food and Nutrition Security through Equitable and Climate Smart Food Systems (Yoti Yoti) is a €6 million five-year project funded by Irish Aid under the ‘Ireland’s Civil Society Partnership for A Better World’ (ICSP) 2023-2027 implemented in Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone is among the poorest countries in the world (ranked 181 out of 191 countries on the Human Development Index) and is continuing to struggle with a highly fragile economy. In 2023, the World Bank summarized the macroeconomic situation as one of high vulnerability to global shocks combined with weak national systems and structures. Cost of living has reached crisis proportions with official rate of inflation at 43% and food inflation more than 50%. The country's food insecurity levels have been greatly impacted with 47% of the population being food insecure and 17% at crisis level (Cadre Harmonise October 2023).
In order to increase vulnerable households’ resilience to food and nutrition insecurity, the project adopts an integrated food system for food security approach, bringing together the four food security pillars:
Each of these pillars do not stand alone; they interact with each other at micro, meso and macro levels, with gender equity and inclusion as well as climate adaptation and environment underpinning all four of the above pillars.
The expected outcomes:
- Increased inclusive climate smart food production (availability)
- Stronger access to markets for those living in conditions of extreme poverty (access)
- Stable consumption of an adequate and affordable diet by all (utilization)
- Evidence generated is used to influence at district and national level (stability)
The project is working in partnership with Community Integrated Development Association (CIDA), Action for Advocacy and Development Sierra Leone (AAD-SL) and Miro Forestry. As well as in collaboration with district and national stakeholders: District Council, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Youth, Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs.
Over 5 years, the project aims to target 21,000 direct project participants living in conditions of extreme poverty across Port Loko and Tonkolili, based on targeting 3,500 households across 82 communities. Selecting these jointly with District stakeholders, focusing on the most vulnerable and underserved communities, households, and groups (women, widows, out of school young people, teenage mothers, households with chronically ill members, households headed by persons with disabilities, households with high dependency ratio or burden of debt etc.)
This is an integrated programme in which targeted households will receive interventions from across pillars 1 to 3 (Availability; Access; Utilization). There will be a wider set of knowledge and attitude interventions at the community level related to nutrition and hygiene promotion; gender and equality; climate adaptation and environmental protection; and WASH. Whilst pillar 4 (Stability) will use new insights to influence key stakeholders at both national and district level as well as promote scalability.
Interventions include but are not limited to:
- Availability: Climate smart farming activities, MOUs with landowners and natural resource management.
- Access: Village Loan Saving Associations (VSLA’s), agroforestry out-grower scheme and community conversations.
- Utilization: Promotion of home gardens, WASH infrastructure and water management training, SBCC (Social and Behaviour Change Campaigns), gender transformation interventions and nutrition sensitive agriculture.
- Stability: Promotion of a multi-stakeholder district food systems platform.
The programme will take a phased approach to enrolment, with a total of two uptakes supported across the five years. Each uptake will receive three years of implementation support followed by mentoring and coaching and then phase out.
"The Yoti-Yoti programme perfectly aligns with Government of Sierra Leone's 'Feed Salone' strategy, objectives and pillars. This demonstrates that and Concern Worldwide are pursing the same goal’’