The semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas of West Africa experience strong inter-annual andinter-decadalclimate variability. The region also has a high exposure to dry spells and drought and over the past 50 years there has been significant land degradation, which exacerbates impacts of extreme climate events.
High levels of poverty, poor governance structures, a lack of social safety nets, climate-dependent livelihoods, gender inequalities and low asset bases accentuate vulnerability to the drought, flooding and heavy rainfall events that are increasingly impacting the region.
Changes in land use caused by population pressures, degradation of forests and rangelands, and top-down policy directives on resource management have exacerbated vulnerability to drought. Herder-farmer conflict is also increasing aspastoralistsand farmers compete for land and water.