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.
1 October 2012
Already beset with a severe hunger crisis, the West African nation of Niger is now grappling with the worst flooding in 80 years. (..) The rains, which were essential to help a nation that has suffered droughts in 2005, 2010 and this year, have destroyed thousands of acres of crops, hurting thousands of desperate families.
17 September 2012
Even at the best of times, one out of every three girls in Niger marries before her 15th birthday, a rate of child marriage among the highest in the world. Now this custom is being layered on top of a crisis. At times of severe drought, parents pushed to the wall by poverty and hunger are marrying their daughters at even younger ages.
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.
6 September 2012
During the lean season, WFP is providing special fortified food to prevent malnutrition to close to 1 million children under 2 as well as nursing mothers. (..) “Preventing and treating acute malnutrition is at the core of WFP’s response in the country,” said Darline Raphael, head of WFP’s nutrition unit in Niger. Malnutrition has always been a concern in the country, especially during the lean season.
22 August 2012
At least 31 people have been killed and nearly 100,000 more left homeless by severe flooding that has affected Niger since mid-July, the UN's humanitarian affairs office said Tuesday. (..) OCHA warned that flooding will have "a negative effect on the food situation" in Niger, which sits in the semi-arid Sahel belt running across Africa, separating Sahara from savannah.
20 August 2012
In markets all over Niger, hungry people are selling hungry animals for half their normal value, giving up on the milk and money of tomorrow so that their children can eat today. Their plight is a sign of how far the economy of the desert has broken down, leaving its people unable to feed themselves in drought after drought.
18 July 2012
Heavy rains have fallen over the past three weeks in northern Mali and Niger and that’s resulted in growing swarms of Desert locusts. Efforts are underway to contain the insects in a region that’s already food insecure. (..) The FAO says insecurity in Algeria and Libya hampered control operations, allowing the locusts to migrate across the Sahara.
- Sahel food insecurity threatens 10 million people in 2013 Source: Reuters/AlertNet
- Sahel: Malnourished to remain above one million in 2013 Source: IRIN
- At meeting in Rome, UN officials stress link between food security and peace in Sahel Source: UN News Centre
- In Niger, flooding adds to humanitarian woes Source: The Washington Post
- In Niger, Child Marriage On Rise Due To Hunger Source: NPR/AP