The deepening food crisis in West Africa has sparked fears of a major famine. Events in the region might easily mirror the kind of devastation seen recently in the Horn of Africa unless urgent action is taken.
Poor rains have led to poor harvests in countries such as Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Chad, and Senegal. Crop yields have been non-existent in some areas and severely reduced in others, causing food prices to soar.
WHO IS AFFECTED?
About 18 million people are facing serious food shortages—a situation worsened by lack of clean water. Many affected are children, who are more vulnerable to malnutrition and disease, and must walk longer distances to find water.
WHAT’S BEING DONE NOW?
World Vision’s programs in this region seek to meet immediate needs and improve long-term food security. These include: nutrition programs for kids, cash-for-work programs (to offset food prices), fodder for livestock, and increasing emergency food reserves. (Learn more)
WHY SHOULD I CARE?
Without help, families will:
- be forced to leave their homes in search of land and water;
- face long periods of hunger and malnutrition;
- lose livestock and livelihoods; and,
- be unable to afford the price of food.
Of course, the ultimate consequence of this crisis is loss of life.
- Donate to our West Africa Relief Fund.
- Spread the word. The small act of sharing this page with your friends and family helps create awareness, which is the first step to helping children in West Africa.
- Learn more. Check out the stories below that paint a vivid picture of the toll the food crisis is taking on families.
STORIES FROM WEST AFRICA
In Her Shoes
You are in a small health clinic in the south of Chad. It is 9 am. The air is hot, dry and filled with the sound of cries.
Hungry Mother, Hungry Child
You don’t need to see the ‘red’ result from the nutrition-monitoring armband to know that six-month-old Alhousanne is severely malnourished.
In the Garden of Good
For Diango, the battle to provide for her family has proven a huge challenge, one that the food crisis threatened to worsen.
On the Brink of Famine
“You can see it in our eyes, faces, how tired we are, how much we have suffered. I’ve lived a long life, and have seen people and animals suffer before, but never the two suffering together as much as now.” — Gori Ngoko, 72