Responding to COVID-19 through Social Protection Systems in the Sahel: Towards addressing the socioeconomic impacts of multiple shocks (Project Summary)

National governments in the Sahel, with support from WFP and UNICEF through the joint project Responding to COVID-19 Pandemic through Social Protection Systems in the Sahel, have been working to improve their social protection systems to protect people from the negative impacts of such shocks. This joint project originally had an 18-month duration up to January 2022 and has been extended twice until December 2024 to provide additional support, considering the continued socioeconomic impact of the pandemic combined with ongoing regional shocks and vulnerability which have been further aggravated by the global food price crisis and other harmful effects stemming from the war in Ukraine. The project delivers essential cash transfers and complementary services to vulnerable people affected by the socioeconomic fallout of multiple shocks, taking a two-track approach. As far as possible, our agencies work through government social protection programmes to deliver essential support (track 1). Where national capacities are saturated, the project delivers cash transfers directly, in alignment with national social protection response plans (track 2). As of 31 July 2022, more than 1.7 million people (266,473 households) across the three countries have benefited from cash transfers as part of this project.