West Africa Food Crisis – Update

CAFOD partner Caritas Niger (CADEV) support a seed fair in the village of Koira Bano, Niger.

While the crisis is far from over, the relatively early and coordinated response by governments and aid agencies appears to have prevented a major catastrophe. According to David Gressly, Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the UN, “The response was early enough to contain most of the suffering that would have happened, deaths that would have happened without that response.”

The 2012 rainy season across the region has also been better than that of 2011, so the harvest due in October and November is likely to be an improvement on last year’s. 

However, millions of people in the region still face food shortages. Even in a normal year, 250,000 children die in the Sahel region because of malnutrition.

The situation in Mali continues to be of great concern: fighting has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. According to the UNCHR, military intervention in the coming months could displace 600,000 more people, leading to a major humanitarian emergency.

Floods in Niger and elsewhere have left hundreds of thousands homeless and unable to harvest their crops.

We’ve donated £400,000 to respond to this year’s crisis, working with partners in Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Chad.

Photos and video of our response: http://www.cafod.org.uk/News/Emergencies-news/West-Africa-18-million

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About cafodhallam

CAFOD is an aid and development agency dedicated to improving the lives of the poorest in our world. In the UK we work to educate people about the causes of poverty, inspire them to campaign to address issues of social justice and inequality, and support them in fundraising activities. Overseas we work with local partners in 40 countries in South America, Africa and Asia to deliver long-term development projects and emergency aid. CAFOD's headquarters are in London and CAFOD Hallam is the local office for Sheffield and the surrounding area.

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