Alan Duncan (Minister of State, International Development; Rutland and Melton, Conservative)
Although it is not possible to prevent drought as it is essentially a recurring climactic event, it is possible to build resilience against its worst effects.
We are supporting the people of West Africa in several ways. Firstly, we are working through multilateral partners—the World Bank, United Nations and the European Community—to ensure that their investments in the region support the development and expansion of social safety net programmes. Secondly, the UK is funding the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development programme (CAADP), which is promoting agricultural-led economic growth to reduce poverty. A number of Sahelian countries have prepared investment plans for this programme. Thirdly, the UK is a major funder of the Pilot programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR), which includes Niger as one of its priority countries. PPCR, which is managed by the World Bank, is supporting a $63 million programme in Niger to improve the resilience of the local populations and production systems to climate change and variability, which should improve food security.