Senegal gets ready for the lean season
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Published on 30 June 2014

WFP will support the senegalese government to assist 675,000 people during the lean season from June to September. Part of the assistance will be distributed through voucher.

The lean season—which lasts from June to September each year in Senegal—is a difficult period for the poorest families. WFP and the Government of Senegal are working together to ensure they have enough to eat, providing food to some 675,000 people during these difficult months.

Cereal harvests in Senegal this year were disappointing; production dropped by 16 percent compared to last year, or 20 percent below the five-year average. The lean season—when stocks of food run low—has also started much earlier than usual, adding to the struggle people face to feed their families.

The Government, through its National Council on Food Security (CNSA) and in partnership with WFP, is implementing a programme to assist the most vulnerable people during these few months.

This year’s operation was launched in Oussouye, a commune in Casamance, located in the southeast of the country. Here, 1,700 families will get the support they need to make it through this difficult period.

Vouchers: a social safety net

Aida Sambou, a 46-year-old mother of eight children, is no longer able to feed her children properly without taking on insurmountable debt. Her handicapped husband is unable to help her. “I only have a family garden for income. When I don’t have products to sell at the market, the store in my neighborhood gives me what I need to feed my family on credit. I currently owe 10,000 F CFA and don’t dare return to the store,” she explains.

Aida will receive 45,000 F CFA through the assistance programme. “I will be able to reassure the store owner. From today forward I will be able to feed my children, prepare rice the way they like it, and also save money to pay back my debts,” she adds.

Starting in June, each household will receive a monthly voucher valued between 5,000-45,000 FCFA—depending on the size of the household (up to nine people)—during the five months of the lean season.

The programme will reach 675,000 people in 43 of 45 regions of the country.

« WFP will work with the Government of Senegal to respond to the urgent needs of the population, thanks to support from donors like ECHO, USAID, Canada, and Oman,” said Ingeborg Breuer, WFP-Senegal Country Director.

This assistance will take several forms, including distribution of food, cash transfers—some via mobile phone—and food vouchers. More than 133,000 children, pregnant women and nursing mothers living in areas with high rates of malnutrition will also be assisted through the programme.

WFP Offices
About the author

Paulele Fall

Public Information Officer for WFP Senegal