Mauritania, October 2004

In the Sahel region’s worst invasion in 15 years, locusts infested every corner of Mauritania’s agricultural zone, munching their way through the cereal and other crops that are the lifeblood of the rural poor.

The damage wreaked by the locusts has been devastating; studies by WFP show that six out of 10 families in the agro-pastoral zone will not have enough to eat in 2005.

The hungry season when food stocks begin to run short would normally begin in late April, but like Naji, many people are already staring disaster in the face.

Treasured cattle and other livestock are being sold, as are prized personal possessions; with virtually no other means to generate cash, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Photo:WFP/Jon Shadid

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