Africa: food crisis in Sahel



CAFOD and other aid agencies are working closely with partner organisations  in the Sahel region of Africa, between the Sahara desert  in the north and the Sudanese Savannas in the south,  to respond to an escalating food crisis.  Ten million people are already suffering severe food shortages after a combination of cyclical drought and irregular harvests led to drastically food production in the affected communities.

In parts of the Sahel, people are scavenging for wild leaves and seeds, and drinking dirty water. Whole villages are starving and desperate for food, with children, nursing mothers, and the elderly particularly at risk.

And with the next harvest not expected until October, analysts believe that the period between July and August will be critical for the affected communities.

Niger is among the worst hit countries, with as many as 400,000 children at risk of starvation, but the impact of the crisis is also being felt in parts of Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad and Nigeria.

Funds are  already being used to provide food for the women and children most in need, support to cereal banks and food distribution, and will also help to set up cash-for-work programmes to enable families to buy cereals and grains in the markets.

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Source: CAFOD

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