COVID-19 response: UN Women puts women farmers in Senegal at the heart of the solution

Date: Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Women from REFAN, main beneficiaries of PAF/Agrifed and partners in the COVID-19 response. Photo: Yulia Panevina/BNP Paribas
Women from REFAN, main beneficiaries of PAF/Agrifed and partners in the COVID-19 response. Photo: Yulia Panevina/BNP Paribas

As part of the program to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable households launched by the Government of Senegal in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UN Women Senegal Program supports the Ministry of Women, Family, Gender and Child Protection (MFFGPE) for the implementation of the program titled "Household basket: women are part of the solution".

The signing ceremony of the convention was held this Tuesday, 7 April at the premises of the MFFGPE in the presence of the Regional Director of UN Women WCARO, the Minister of Women, Family, Gender and Child Protection, and the General Manager of BICIS also representing BNP Paribas.

UN Women Regional Director Oulimata Sarr, Ms. Ndeye Saly Diop Dieng Minister for Women, Family, Gender and Child Protection and Mr. Bernard Levie, Director General of BICIS. Photo: UN Women/Khadidiatou Ndiaye
UN Women Regional Director Oulimata Sarr, Ms. Ndeye Saly Diop Dieng Minister for Women, Family, Gender and Child Protection and Mr. Bernard Levie, Director General of BICIS. Photo: UN Women/Khadidiatou Ndiaye

This agreement, which formalizes a contribution of CFAF 100,270,000, is part of the PAF/AgriFed project initiated by UN Women and BNP Paribas in support of women in agriculture and sustainable development. Thus, in line with the objectives of PAF/AgriFed, this program will make it possible to supply food kits to 10,000 vulnerable households, by purchasing rice and local cereals from women farmers in Senegal, who have produced a third of the local rice in 2019.

The women farmers who we support have a production capacity that allows them to actively participate in the response to COVID-19 in Senegal. They position themselves as local rice and cereal suppliers for food assistance to households." said Oulimata Sarr, Regional Director of UN Women West and Central Africa.  "In this time of crisis, we are happy to promote local consumption and boost rural entrepreneurship"

"BICIS is resolutely associated with this program, led by women for climate-resilient agriculture, with the support of BNP Paribas and UN Women, in accordance with its commitment values", said the Director General of BICIS, Bernard Levie.

Ndeye Saly Diop Dieng, Minister of Women, encouraged the stakeholders who will be involved in the implementation to favor concertation and synergy in the interventions in order to reach the beneficiaries more effectively.

Women from REFAN, main beneficiaries of PAF/Agrifed and partners in the COVID-19 response.
Women from REFAN, main beneficiaries of PAF/Agrifed and partners in the COVID-19 response. Photo: Yulia Panevina/BNP Paribas

Women are the hardest hit by the economic impacts of COVID-19. They work mainly in the informal sector to obtain the resources necessary for their daily survival. Partial or total lockdown can prevent them from earning a living and meeting the basic needs of their families. It is therefore essential to target women specifically in the various response initiatives. In this sense, UN Women intends to work with other partners, the United Nations agencies, to strengthen the economic resilience of women in the face of this crisis.