Impacts of government COVID-19 responses on food systems and livelihoods in the Sahel (COVID-19-AFS)

IDRC’s response to the COVID-19 crisis includes a rapid response to the pandemic’s food and nutritional security crisis. This response mechanism supports the development of new, short-term activities as a supplement to existing projects. The goals are to document the impact of the pandemic (and control measures) on local food systems and food security, to document planned and spontaneous responses to the emerging crisis, and to strengthen responses to the current crisis. The rapid response mechanism also supports the development of new projects to document and analyze the efficacy of those responses. This will help low- and middle-income countries to respond more efficiently to subsequent waves of the epidemic, as well as potential future shocks.

This project will draw lessons from ongoing policy formulation and interventions to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis in the Sahel. Data and results from the research will enhance risk management and disaster risk reduction methods of national and regional food system policies to be more impact-oriented, with due consideration for gender, youth, and vulnerable groups. It will cover five countries in West Africa: Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Mali, Niger, and Senegal.

Regional initiatives led by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will complement these efforts. Main stakeholders in this project include government ministries, the ECOWAS Commission, farmers, herders, input dealers, processors, agricultural product aggregators, wholesalers, and consumers as well as financial and technical partners. The project will pay special attention to the integration of women, youth, and vulnerable groups. The research methodology will include a desk review, online and physical surveys, focused group discussions, key informant interviews, and validation meetings.

Project ID


Project status



12 months

IDRC Officer

Michele Leone

Total funding

CA$ 748,600


Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Mali, Niger, Senegal


Climate-Resilient Food Systems, Agriculture and Food Security

Project Leader

Mariame Maiga


Conseil ouest et centre africain pour la recherche et le développement agricoles/West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development

Institution Country


Institution Website