WFP News: The Newsletter of the World Food Programme in West Africa February 2012
WFP’s response to the food crisis in the Sahel
The Sahel is facing its third food crisis in less than a decade. Communities have had little time to recover from the last crisis in 2010—their savings and livestock herds remain depleted. Crop yields are low and food prices abnormally high, heightening food insecurity.
The current drought affects a broad swathe of countries across the Sahel region of West Africa including Niger, Mauritania, Mali, Chad, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Cameroon.
WFP has taken action early, scaling-up existing operations and preparing new ones, as part of a regional response that aims to assist 8.8 million people and that will cost more than US$800 million. The response‘s activities will include general food distributions, Food and Cash for Work, unconditional cash transfers, cereal bank support, and both blanket and targeted nutrition activities.
WFP plans to assist the following numbers of people in these countries — Niger 3.7 million; Mali 1.1 million; Mauritania 400,000; Chad 1.95 million; Burkina Faso 570,000; Cameroon 194,000 and Senegal 690,000.
Funding for the Sahel operations is urgently required now, and within the next two months at the very latest. Due to long lead times in the region, nutrition products for young children and nursing mothers, and food for their caretakers and families might otherwise not arrive in time.
Contributions to the Sahel response currently amount to US$ 116 million. WFP is grateful for the recent contributions from Australia, Belgium, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), Denmark, the European Commission, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the United States.