2015 Humanitarian Needs Overview - Sahel Region

PRIORITY NEEDS

Food insecurity

In December 2014, 19.8 million people in the Sahel are estimated to be food insecure, with at least 2.6 million having already crossed the emergency threshold and requiring urgent food assistance. Millions more are expected to see their food security deteriorate during the course of the 2015 lean season due to the exhaustion of stocks, pasture scarcity, food price variations, or livelihood erosion caused by recurrent crises.

Malnutrition

Acute malnutrition persists in the Sahel at unacceptably high levels.
Projections indicate that in 2015, 5.8 million children under five will suffer from global acute malnutrition (GAM), of whom 1.4 million will suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and 4.4 million from moderate acute malnutrition (MAM). On average, one out of three children in the Sahel suffers from stunting. An estimated 571,000 children under the age of five die annually from malnutrition and related causes.

Conflict-related needs

Across the Sahel, insecurity and conflict have displaced 2.8 million people, a dramatic increase from 1.6 million in January 2014. Spiralling violence in north-eastern Nigeria and the Central African Republic (CAR) continues to force people from their homes and livelihoods, compounding the needs of the displaced people and their host communities in Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon. The situation in northern Mali remains highly unstable preventing the return of IDPs and refugees and the restoration of essential services. The security and displacement outlook for 2015 is of great concern.

Epidemics-related needs

Epidemics, such as cholera, meningitis and Lassa fever affected at least 50,000 people in 2014 and resulted in over 1,000 deaths. The spread of epidemics and high case fatality rates are driven by poor access to prevention and treatment. A high incidence of malaria, acute respiratory infections and diarrheal diseases also persists in the Sahel. The Ebola outbreak in West Africa, with confirmed cases in Nigeria, Senegal and Mali, places a further strain on chronically weak health systems.

Disaster-related needs

Recurrent floods, droughts and pests remain a threat to thousands of households in the Sahel. Poor and erratic rainfall, in particular in the western Sahel countries, has affected yearly harvests and the livelihoods of millions.

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