WFP News: The Newsletter of the World Food Programme in West Africa November 2012
WFP’s response to the food crisis in the Sahel
Drought in the Sahel region of West Africa brought hunger to millions for the third time in seven years.
The harvest has started in most areas and crop prospects are overall favorable. Neverthe-less, communities remain weakened after months of hardship during a lean season that was longer and more difficult than usual.
During the lean season when needs were greatest, WFP supported between five and six mil-lion people each month through nutrition and food security activities.
Every month, 1.5 million children and pregnant and nursing mothers attended health cen-ters for nutritious rations for the prevention and treatment of moderate acute malnutrition.
Activities are now shifting from targeted food/cash distributions and blanket supplemen-tary feeding to longer term activities including food-for-assets, school feeding, and targeted supplementary feeding.
WFP and partners at country, regional and global levels are therefore working towards ad-dressing the root causes of crises in the Sahel to strengthen communities’ resilience to fu-ture shocks.
Only long-term and multi-sectorial activities addressing the root causes of malnutrition and food insecurity can durably build the resilience of people to future shocks.
Conflict in Mali is complicating the challenge to provide humanitarian assistance and heightening the needs of affected populations with half a million people having fled their homes and sought refuge within Mali and across borders.