ICSP approved at EB.2/2020
Notwithstanding long-term positive trends, Togo continues to face internal and external challenges that constrain its capacity to achieve sustainable food and nutrition security.
With a per capita gross domestic product of USD 679 in 2018, Togo is classified as both a least developed country and low-income food-deficit country. Despite having reduced poverty and chronic malnutrition over the last five years, Togo suffers from a level of hunger classified as “serious”, ranking 81st of 117 countries in the 2019 Global Hunger Index.
In Togo, food and nutrition security is restrained by poverty, population growth, land and environmental degradation and gender inequality in access to resources. Limited access to nutritious food is intensified by a lack of reliable information on agricultural markets, cyclical climate shocks and now the economic impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. These barriers are further compounded by the volatile security situation in the Sahel region, which threatens northern Togo with the possibility of an influx of refugees.
Togo’s national development plan for 2018–2022 serves as the primary government framework for integrated, equitable and inclusive development. Its three strategic directions are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, with all five targets of Sustainable Development Goal 2 ranked as national priorities.
In response to requests from the Togolese Government in May 2020 for assistance with the COVID-19 crisis, WFP will implement a six-month limited emergency operation, embedded in the COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan as part of the United Nations’ pandemic response in Togo. The limited emergency operation will transition to this interim country strategic plan, which maintains the crisis response according to needs while laying out a one-year strategy to help Togo better coordinate national efforts on hunger and nutrition, reduce vulnerability to food insecurity and malnutrition, with consideration given to gender and age, and design a resilience agenda in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis as a precursor to a country strategic plan that would start in 2022.
The interim country strategic plan is aligned with the three strategic directions of the national development plan and with priorities 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the United Nations sustainable development cooperation framework for 2019–2023.
The interim country strategic plan was informed by the findings of the national zero hunger strategic review, WFP’s experience in promoting sustainable food systems in Togo and consultations with key international, national and local partners. It is in line with WFP’s Strategic Plan (2017–2021) and contributes to WFP Strategic Results 1, 4 and 8.
The interim country strategic plan will support national capacity to respond to crises and place affected populations sustainably on a path towards increased resilience and food and nutrition security through the delivery of three strategic outcomes:
➢ Strategic outcome 1: Crisis-affected populations in targeted areas are able to meet their basic food and nutrition needs during and in the aftermath of crises.
➢ Strategic outcome 2: Targeted communities in Togo, including smallholder farmers, have efficient, equitable, inclusive and nutritious food systems.
➢ Strategic outcome 3: Humanitarian and development partners in Togo have access to common services throughout crises.
Through the interim country strategic plan, WFP will act as an enabler of the Government and partners and contribute to expanding the capabilities of national institutions and actors in emergency preparedness and response, and improving coordination among them, to build pathways to resilience.
The central focus of the interim country strategic plan is to provide institutional support to the Government of Togo in food and nutrition security and emergency preparedness and response while also strengthening gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Within its social protection plans the Government has prioritized school feeding as an important safety net. Today, the national school feeding programme, the Community Development Project (Projet de développement communautaire), reaches 90,000 primary school children in 304 of the 6,380 schools nationwide. Once COVID-19 mitigation measures in schools in Togo are eased, WFP will support the Government in maintaining and strengthening the school feeding programme’s links to smallholder farmers.
Although specifically focused on Sustainable Development Goals 2 and 17, the interim country strategic plan also contributes to Sustainable Development Goals 1 (poverty), 3 (health), 4 (education) and 5 (gender equality and women’s empowerment).