The humanitarian emergency in drought-ravaged West Africa will worsen in coming months as the food crisis, which has already claimed young lives, enters its most severe period.
Over 18 million people across the Sahel region of West Africa are facing an extreme hunger crisis triggered by crop shortages, rising food prices and political insecurity in neighbouring countries. Young children are smaller, weaker and far more vulnerable, so their chances of survival are lower.
Save the Children has scaled up our emergency operations in the Sahel and have reached over 300,000 people with life-saving programs. Throughout 2012 we are aiming to assist 1.5 million people – including almost a million children who face starvation – but we are facing a funding shortfall.
“Mothers have told me they have little or no food to feed their children,” said Annie Bodmer-Roy, a Save the Children aid worker. “With more funding we will be able to increase our life-saving interventions, including nutrition, health and securing access to food for the most vulnerable families.”
The time to act is now. Any further delays are sure to cost additional lives of children whose deaths we know how to prevent – and can prevent, with your help.
Recent assessments from Save the Children - compiled with government, UN and other aid agency partners - reveal that the poorest families in the Sahel region will not be able to survive the coming months without urgent help.
These assessments have confirmed our worst fears: the Sahel crisis is now an emergency.
In parts of Mauritania, the poorest households are missing almost 80 per cent of their basic needs for the months of June and July – and have already faced hardship since January. As of this month in Burkina Faso, the poorest families will be missing 70 per cent of what they need to survive the next four months – unless they get help immediately.
We continue to scale up our food security, nutrition and health, education, child protection, water and sanitation and livelihood programs to provide an integrated package of support for families.
Adama, 25, sits with her 15-month-old child at a stabilisation center in Burkina Faso.
Save the Children is a member of the HUMANITARIAN COALITION, a network of Canadian humanitarian organizations that unite during emergencies to bring urgent assistance. To find out more, visit www.together.ca