Hunger in the news

14 February 2013

Up to 10 million people across the Sahel region are at risk of food insecurity in 2013 and 1 million children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition, according to the United Nations. The U.N. regional humanitarian coordinator for the Sahel, David Gressly, talks to AlertNet about preventing malnutrition, building resilience and other priorities for the region this year. He says getting the money for these activities is likely to be a challenge – without a drought being the rallying point for raising funds.

21 December 2012

Despite good rains across much of the Sahel this year, 1.4 million children are expected to be malnourished - up from one million in 2012, according to the 2013 Sahel regional strategy. (..) But humanitarians worry of donor fatigue and many are concerned possible military intervention in Mali will distract donors from the chronic food insecurity and malnutrition crises in the region. (..) Alain Cordeil, head of the World Food Programme (WFP) in Mauritania, voiced his fears. “If we only have political interest from donors for refugees, we will not solve the problems for this region…This could be very chaotic,” he told IRIN.

10 December 2012

Addressing a meeting at the FAO headquarters in Rome – attended by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on the Sahel, Romano Prodi, and other senior UN officials and mediators dealing directly with the Sahel crisis – FAO’s Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, noted that the relation between food insecurity, hunger and the dispute over natural resources and conflicts was particularly evident in the Sahel.

20 November 2012

As this year's emergency winds down, the question on aid workers' minds is, "How can the Sahel break from its recurring cycle of food crises?" U.N. Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, David Gressly, said now is the time to end chronic food insecurity. Aid agencies say they are working to build the "resilience" of the most vulnerable communities, but more needs to be done. (..) Aid agencies also say that prevention is cheaper than treatment.

19 September 2012

Ariane Waldvogel, WFP’s deputy director in Burkina Faso, told IRIN: “We are in the third phase of the food crisis and the most critical - the lean period. We need to feed the population until the end of the harvests in October now that food reserves have been depleted.” WFP feeds some 1.7 million people in Burkina Faso.

17 September 2012

An active monsoon and above normal temperatures triggered heavy downpours and flash floods during this year’s rainy season across West Africa and the Sahel, killing hundreds of people, displacing hundreds of thousands more and devastating farms in some of the countries already hit by a severe drought and acute food shortages.

17 September 2012

The growing regularity of droughts across the Sahel region has left millions in need of emergency food assistance, the UN humanitarian food agency announced today, while also warning that malnutrition was still rampant in Senegal, Chad, Niger and Mauritania. A spokesperson for the World Food Programme (WFP), Elisabeth Byrs, told reporters in Geneva that the UN agency already assisted six million people in the Sahel during the month of July – but cautioned that humanitarian needs still remained “huge” ahead of the October harvest.

20 June 2012

Fighting between government forces and Tuareg fighters in Mali has forced tens of thousands of people to flee across the border into Burkina Faso. But Burkina Faso itself is experiencing a severe drought, and resources to cope with the influx of more than 60,000 Malians are increasingly scarce.

1 March 2012

With nearly 20,000 Malian refugees now in Burkina Faso, according to Burkina Minister of Communications Alain Traore, and up to 800 more crossing the border each day, the government says it urgently needs more help. (..) Bibata Sankara, humanitarian officer with the World Food Programme (WFP) sub-office in Dori, capital of Sahel Region, said WFP had set up food distribution centres in 723 schools and 74 health centres in the region. WFP is working closely with the Burkina Faso Red Cross to help refugees too weak to reach health centres.

23 February 2012

The international community must urgently aid tens of thousands of people who have fled fighting in northern Mali and prevent their displacement from burdening host communities already hit by food insecurity, an official of the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has said. (..) More than 55,000 people have fled Mali into neighbouring Niger, Mauritania, and Burkina Faso while another 60,000 are internally displaced within Mali since fighting erupted, the official said.