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Appeals & Funding
Church leaders in Ebola-affected Sierra Leone and Liberia are playing a vital role in helping people to stay safe, says Christian relief and development agency Tearfund.
Tearfund partners have found that church leaders are widely trusted and are able to use church services and other gatherings to help people understand how to stop the spread of Ebola.
Rising food prices in West Africa are prompting renewed concern for 11 million people going hungry in the region.
Tearfund partners in Niger are reporting that prices of everyday foods are still increasing and although they have stabilised in Chad, they are higher than average.
It’s estimated that there will be 2.5 million people in Niger facing food shortages this year, 2.74 million in neighbouring Chad, as well as more than 2 million in Mali and 1.74 million in Burkina Faso.
Mali Donor Conference, Brussels - 15 May
A donor conference on Mali is being hosted by the EU and the French Government in Brussels to discuss how to help rebuild the country after months of conflict and regional instability. It will focus on resuming development aid (following the freeze imposed as a result of the coup in March last year), supporting the plan for Mali 2013-14, and securing funds for that purpose.
The outlook for West Africa’s hunger crisis in 2013 has improved in some parts of the region compared to 2012 when 18 million people were at risk of hunger.
But 2013 started with a warning from a UN official that more than 10 million people across the region are still at risk of starvation, including 1.4 million children facing severe acute malnutrition.
Experts say food crises like those in 2005, 2010 and 2012 indicate an underlying trend for increasing chronic vulnerability.
So why are so many people in the region frequently locked in a hunger crisis?
After months of struggling to get by and not knowing where the next meal would come from, Maimouna Cisse has finally received some respite from the hunger that’s blighting Mali.
‘Today is a great day and our thanks go to those who’ve remembered the poor and needy,’ she says, after being supplied with 50kg of rice from Tearfund partner TNT.
Maimouna is a mother-of-seven who lives in the town of Gao, which has been in the frontline of Mali’s ongoing conflict between Islamic groups and Malian forces.
As France leads an air and land assault on rebels in Mali, Tearfund partners in the country are working together to help families affected by the conflict.
Over the last week, French jets have been bombing the positions of insurgents from a group called Ansar Dine, which is one of several elements to have taken control of much of northern Mali last April.
20 December (New York): A military offensive in northern Mali would have serious humanitarian consequences and requires serious safeguards to be put in place warns a coalition of ten non-governmental organisations today. As the United Nations Security Council considers a resolution to authorise an international military force to restore territorial integrity, humanitarian NGOs operating in Mali have come together to sound a note of caution.
Une offensive militaire au Nord du Mali aurait de graves conséquences humanitaires et nécessite la mise en place de solides garde-fous, met en garde aujourd’hui une coalition de dix ONG.
Alors que le Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU examine une résolution qui autoriserait le déploiement d’une force militaire internationale pour restaurer l’intégrité territoriale du Mali, des organisations humanitaires travaillant dans le pays exhortent la communauté internationale à la prudence.
Tearfund partners are preparing to step up help for thousands of people displaced by Mali’s civil conflict.
Some 412,000 Malians have fled their homes in the country’s north following the insurgency by Ansar Dine last January and many are now living in tough conditions among southern communities already under pressure from the region’s food crisis.
Four partners have formed a consortium to improve people’s access to food, promote public health and to run catch- up classes for children who have missed out on their education.
Conflict in Mali has led to 375,000 people fleeing for their lives prompting concerns of a long term humanitarian disaster.
People have left their homes and livelihoods to escape Islamist rebels, the most dominant and fundamentalist of which belong to a group called Ansar Dine who now control the north of the country and are imposing their extreme interpretation of Sharia law.
As well as introducing some strict laws, such as banning the teaching of certain subjects in the school national curriculum, they have also destroyed tombs and shrines.
Extreme explorer Bear Grylls is calling on the British public to help the people of West Africa blighted by a severe food crisis.
18 million people are affected with many children suffering from malnutrition, and acute hunger has forced families to survive on little more than leaves.
"Millions in West Africa desperately need our help in their fight for survival: it is a plight where our help can literally change their families’ lives,” says Bear.
“Join me in the ultimate survival mission to save lives. It is too important to neglect."
It’s Saturday afternoon and 13-year-old Lajoie has just returned home after a few hours out and about.
She says she’s been walking around the bush and climbing trees but it soon becomes apparent this wasn’t teenager leisure time roaming the countryside of Niger’s Dosso region.
She unfurls an apron-like cloth tied around her waist to reveal a clump of small green leaves that she has gathered on her hot and dusty travels.
Immediately two of her siblings start picking through the foliage, ripping the leaves from the stalks and nibbling on the greenery.
The growing human cost of Niger’s hunger emergency can be seen in the dwindling frame of nine-month-old Karima.
Over the last four months she has lost half her body weight, coinciding with the failed harvest in this southern Dosso region of the country.
In recent weeks her condition has worsened and her mother, 25-year-old Dayaba, has brought Karima to Soukoukoutane health centre after a long journey by foot which began the previous day.
‘I feel weak and I have no breast milk for my baby which makes her cry,’ said Dayaba.
Diarrhoea is the leading cause of child mortality in Sub Saharan Africa and one child dies from the illness every 20 seconds. A new report launched today (Wednesday 25 April) by Tearfund and PATH at the World Health Congress in Ethiopia calls for urgent action to stop children dying from this preventable illness.
Residents of Timbuktu have been speaking of the hardships they have faced during recent weeks and encroaching rebel army attacks.
Tearfund partner TNT, which has been providing food aid to the community, has been hearing testimonies from those who had fled the Malian town due to fears of imminent attack.
It is now reported to be under the control of the Islamic group Ansar Dine, who seized it alongside Tuareg separatists on Sunday.
Tearfund is sending an extra £100,000 to its partners in drought-hit West Africa to boost their response to the region’s worsening food crisis.
The additional funding will help people suffering from hunger in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Niger - among the world’s poorest countries - as fears grow of a disaster on a similar scale to the one affecting East Africa.
26 March 2012
A Tearfund partner is providing emergency food aid to people living around Timbuktu in Mali who are affected by the Sahel hunger crisis as well as in-country conflict.
Supplies are being distributed by our partner TNT not only to locals in this remote area south of the Sahara but to people who have fled there following the recent Tuareg rebellion.
Like Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad, Mali is badly affected by food shortages following the partial failure of rains and subsequent poor crops last year
The Sahel region of West Africa is facing a hunger crisis with millions of people in Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad not having enough to eat.
Inadequate and erratic rains have led to poor harvests, while high food prices and insect infestations have only exacerbated the need.
In our video update,Tearfund's Gaston Slanwa talks about how the crisis is affecting Niger and how Tearfund partners are responding.
Food price hikes, erratic weather patterns and insecurity are compounding a serious food crisis unfolding in West Africa.
Millions of people don’t have enough to eat after inadequate rains and insect infestations led to poor harvests and livestock losses in the Sahel region. Niger and Chad are the worst affected but parts of Burkina Faso and Mali are also deteriorating.
The Sahel region of West Africa is facing a looming hunger crisis in 2012 with the UN and governments estimating that more than 12 million people in Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad are at risk of food insecurity.
There is a chronic food and nutrition emergency in the region and an on-going livelihoods crisis, which is only worsened by this year’s poor and erratic rains, locust infestations and high food prices.