Many African countries remain behind or even off-track in different ways towards achievement of the SDGs by 2030 and Agenda 2063 goals. They are also moving at different paces. Increased food insecurity due to Covid 19 is a key challenge. With grassroots partners and networks in over 30 countries in Africa APSP and GCAP are working together on promoting social protection as a vital contributor to  end food insecurity in Africa. The experience of partners has shown how the impact of Covid 19 has exponentially increased food insecurity, breaking food chains and deepening already endemic poverty and hunger,  especially in rural areas. Currently Africa is the region with the lowest coverage of social protection, despite the Africa Unions recognition of its importance as a key element of recovery from Covid 19, that social protection tackles generalized insecurity and endemic poverty, and that the extension of social protection floors is fundamental to achieving the SDGs.

The side event will bring together civil society, grassroots organizations, UN agencies and VNR countries of Africa. Supported by an experienced moderator, panelists will bring experience of how social protection acts on food insecurity and hunger, giving up to date information and analysis on extending social protection coverage and its financing, and offering best practice examples for peer learning.  Civil society and grassroots panelists from Botswana  and Rwanda will share grassroots experience. Ms Valerie Schmitt,  ILO, will speak on social protection coverage and current opportunities and challenges; Ms Bintia Stephen Tchicaya, FAO will share up to date analysis and recommendations on food insecurity. The  4th time VNR reporting country of Togo will be invited to offer lessons learned in the VNR process. Mr Oyebisi Babatunde from the National NGOs Network of Nigeria shall moderate the event proceedings. Mr Simon Nhongo, Board member of the Africa Platform for Social Protection will give closing remarks . Key messages from the event will be submitted to the Forum organisers for inclusion in the final Declaration.