While the UN warns of funds limitations that will affect the international community’s response, the Sahel food crisis worsens rapidly, but is not making headline news. Below is a round-up of information touches on the facts and nuance of the crisis, as well as on-the-ground perspectives of women who are directly affected.
I am hoping to learn and share information about some local organizations working to address the crisis, but please explore options to support relief efforts. (I lean towards Oxfam because their rhetoric extends beyond emergency relief and points out that “The response should not stop at meeting emergency needs; it needs also to tackle the underlying causes of crises like this to prevent them recurring.” This is especially relevant to the Sahel, a region that has faced drought and food crisis on an almost cyclical basis for several years. In general, the international food community’s press and media about the global food crisis is increasingly aware of structural, long-term solutions to food insecurity. As always, I wish it was easier to hear from natives of the region and hear their ideas, strategies, and solutions. I guess I just need to look harder.)
Countries affected: Burkina Faso, Chad Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Cameroon, Nigeria and Senegal are at risk of severe acute malnutrition.
Total number of people affected: Around 15.6 million
Vulnerable Children: 1 million children under five expected to suffer severe acute malnutrition. Another 1.9 million children under the age of 5 are expected to experience moderate acute malnutrition.
Conflict Displacement: 213,177 people displaced by conflict in northern Mali. This includes 118,117 refugees in Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger and Algeria and 93,433 internally displaced. The World Food Program has suspended operations in nothern Mali due to insecurity.
Needs: The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says it requires $724,537,917 to fully respond to the crisis. To date, donors have given $371,009,588, meaning there is a gap of 370,347,992, or 49%.
- INFOGRAPHIC: Causes and effects of the food crisis (via UNICEF France)
- The Sahel Food Crisis: 8 questions answered (via World Food Program)
- Audio Slideshow: Chadian women describe the hardships they face (via Guardian UK)