14:00 CET, Thursday 1 December 2022, Den Haag, Netherlands
SNV, a global development partner, and the Network of Pastoralists Billital Maroobè (RBM) today signed a memorandum of understanding, renewing a long-standing strategic partnership between the two organisations.
SNV and RBM have been working together since 2008 to strengthen resilience in the Sahel and West Africa region mainly focusing on addressing the challenges faced by pastoral communities as a result of multiple crises including climate change and increased insecurity in the region. The renewed partnership will ensure further collaboration on activities that improve pastoral livestock systems resilience and further expand operations in current and new countries such as Nigeria and Ghana.
'We are pleased to renew this partnership with RBM as our ambition to contribute to transforming agri-food systems towards 2030 will only made possible by building partnerships especially with local organisations closest to the people and contexts we are looking to support’, said Simon O’Connell, SNV’s Chief Executive Officer, during a signing ceremony held at SNV’s offices in The Hague.
Post MoU signing ceremony
The RBM is one of the main civil society organisations in the Sahel and West Africa and has been working to defend the interests of pastoralists since 2003. Initially established by three organisations from Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso, RBM now brings together 80 local organisations from eight additional countries – Benin, Chad, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Togo – representing an estimated 750,000 pastoralist households in the region.
‘SNV stood by our side for many years. The high consistency in our collaboration is a solid foundation for partnership and quality work, all based on a common vision and shared values’, said Dodo Boureima, President of the Network 'Billital Maroobe' during the signing ceremony.
Boureima underlined that while the context in the Sahel and West Africa is indeed challenging, it also points to several opportunities for well-targeted and carefully planned interventions aimed at addressing the risks, vulnerabilities and impacts related to fragility and climate change. He highlighted RBM’s appreciation of SNV’s contribution to the partnership to support the network’s institutional development.
The five-year partnership will also ensure collaboration between SNV and RBM in areas such as policy dialogue, knowledge exchange, and capacity development of their network and members, and will explore new and innovative digital solutions. This includes digital climate adaptation services, as well as employment and entrepreneurship for young women and men. The agreement also includes an advocacy component for the creation of a political environment conducive to cross-border pastoral mobility, in addition to strengthening social cohesion and the peaceful management of natural resources. Another main objective is to improve the nutrition and diets of pastoral communities.
SNV and the Network of Pastoralists Billital Maroobe members
With increased political instability, poor governance, conflict, and insecurity in the central Sahel, forced displacement reached new heights in 2022. There are now over 2.9 million refugees and internally displaced people across Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, of which 40% are children, while the number of people experiencing severe levels of undernutrition or famine is expected to reach an unprecedented seven million in 2023. In addition, a growing population intensifies pressure on land and water resources, while conflict and instability further exacerbate the issue as access to these resources becomes increasingly limited, particularly for pastoralists whose mobility is endangered.
Overshadowing all of these challenges is the threat of the climate crisis; the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change expects the Sahel to witness the highest temperature increases compared to other regions globally, reaching extreme highs of over 40ºC.
With these complex and interlinked fragilities and challenges across the Sahel and West Africa, O’Connell reiterated SNV’s commitment to the partnership with RBM and the effected communities in the region. He stated that the organisation acknowledges that fragility affects people differently based on multiple factors such as gender, age, ethnicity, and disability, and that women and youth are disproportionally affected.
O’Connell highlighted SNV’s dedication to amplifying the voices of those underrepresented groups and to supporting the transformation of agri-food systems that are resilient, sustainable, and more equitable.
SNV is a mission-driven global development partner working in more than 20 countries across Africa and Asia. Building on 60 years of experience and grounded in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we work on the core themes of gender equality and social inclusion, climate adaptation and mitigation, and strong institutions and effective governance. Together with our team of over 1,600 people, our mission is to strengthen capacities and catalyse partnerships that transform the agri-food, energy, and water systems, which enable sustainable and more equitable lives for all.
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