Appeals & Response Plans
- Mauritania: Drought - May 2018
- West Africa: Ebola Outbreak - Mar 2014
- Mauritania: Floods - Sep 2013
- Sahel Crisis: 2011-2017
- Mauritania: Floods - Aug 2010
- West Africa: Floods - Jul 2009
- Mauritania: Floods - Aug 2009
- Influenza A (H1N1) Pandemic - Apr 2009
- West Africa: Floods - Jul 2008
- Mauritania: Floods - Aug 2007
Maps & Infographics
Updated: Read our quick guide to learn more about the crisis and how we are responding to immediate and long-term needs in the region.
By James Addis. Photo by Justin Douglass.
The food crisis in West Africa’s Sahel region has sparked fears of a famine. Events in the region might easily mirror the kind of devastation seen recently in the Horn of Africa unless urgent action is taken.
Millions in West Africa now living through permanent food crises, aid agency says
New report finds family’s ability to withstand shocks lies at heart of persistent food crises
Governments and donors must act now to save more than one million children at risk in the Sahel
Make improved nutrition in children the benchmark for success in all programmes, says World Vision
18 million people are in the grip of a worsening food crisis in West Africa
6.4 million of those affected are in Niger.
One million are children with acute severe malnutrition who could die unless they receive help NOW
For every £1 World Vision receives, the British government will give another £1 The international children’s charity World Vision is launching an urgent appeal for the food crisis in West Africa today.
Media Contact Lane Hartill 202.640.6608 (O) 202.294.9700 (M)
WESTPORT, Conn. (April 23, 2012) – A huge gap in funding for aid projects aimed at preventing the deepening food crisis in the Sahel is threatening to leave millions of people hungry in the coming months, a coalition of aid agencies has warned today.
Vulnerable communities are already feeling the effects of a food crisis in West Africa, long before its expected peak in the next several months. In some areas, World Vision staff are seeing children, especially girls, forced to leave their homes and head to the city, in hopes of getting a job to send money to their starving families. In other villages, women and girls have to walk even longer distances to gather water, making them vulnerable to predators, both human and animal.
World Vision warns this season's failed harvest throughout the Sahel region of Africa could bring a devastating food crisis to West Africa within the next two to six months. Early warning systems such as the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS-NET) point to inconsistent rain, insect attacks, and the resulting poor harvest, and some predict a food crisis that could eclipse the current drought in the Horn of Africa and hurt families already vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition after a severe drought swept through the region in 2009.
Moumina, a 40-year-old mother of seven children, is thankful that it's Ramadan - the Muslim month of prayer and fasting. It means she has fewer meals to scrounge up for her children. During Ramadan, adults go without food and water from sunrise to sunset. Children do not fast, but this year Moumina's youngsters have no choice.
For dinner, Moumina serves the children food she never would have imagined eating: dried watermelon seeds crushed into a paste. The family's goats normally eat better than this.
by Karen Homer - Communications Manager
Even in the most captivating class, young students can be easily distracted. So it's hard for any child to concentrate when locust swarms and sand storms compete for the teacher's attention -creeping and seeping their way into the dilapidated school rooms that are the norm in Nouakchott, Mauritania's desert capital.
Most public schools in this impoverished city are crumbling, crowded and ill-equipped. They're certainly not conducive to learning, especially in 45C heat.
World Vision launched an emergency locust-eradication campaign this week to help farmers protect their fields from the crop-devouring bugs that experts predict will re-infest the country next month.
The program, which covers three heavily-infested zones (Boghé, Dar El Barka and Tidjikja), is funded by a $100,000 grant from World Vision USA.
by Karen Homer - Communications Manager
Swarms of desert locusts blanketed Nouakchott last week, devouring the little greenery there is in this barren desert capital of 800,000 people. The locusts transformed thousands of trees and bushes into brown skeletons in just a few hours. Residents described the invasion as the worst in 15 years. Abundant rains across north and west Africa this year have provided ideal breeding and feeding grounds for the devastating insects.
Local residents did their best to try and protect their property.
Families living in Mauritania's drought-affected zone won't go hungry this season, thanks to World Vision's emergency food aid program that will benefit up to 150,000 people over the next nine months, including 23,800 school children.
A reported 1 million of Mauritania's 2.7 million people are facing severe food insecurity as drought grips the country for the third year in a row. World Vision is distributing 13,500 metric tons of food aid to up to 120,000 people, working partnership with the World Food Programme. World Vision is also operating 41 wet feeding centres, currently assisting 1,043 children, and 480 lactating mothers.
Children in Mauritania are in desperate need of nutritional relief and should not be forgotten, a World Vision nutrition expert told an international conference of disaster medicine experts last week.
Coumba Thiam raises a toast to World Water Day, and to World Vision, with a tea glass of sparkling H20. For the first time in her life, this Mauritanian woman has clean drinking water available just steps from her home. And it's affordable. While many people take clean water for granted, Coumba appreciates just how precious it is. Water - and the lack of it - is the most critical problem in Mauritania, a country that is 75 per cent desert.
Help is on its way to 88,800 hungry Mauritanians who will benefit from a drought relief program of unprecedented scale launched this week by World Vision Mauritania, in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP).
Children in Mauritania's worst drought-affected regions are suffering severe levels of malnutrition that surpass rates reported in some of Southern Africa's famine zones.
Catastrophic. That's how World Vision worker Tislim M'Reizigue describes the growing drought crisis in Barkeol, a region in southern Mauritania. She runs one of 24 World Vision feeding centres for more than 700 severely malnourished children. "We have never seen a year like this in recent memory," says Tislim. "These children have nothing to eat but what we give them?two rations of porridge per day. People are selling their animals to buy food. What will they do when it is gone?"
As the rainy season draws to a close, Mauritanians rightly fear the worst. With many of their animals already dead and others dying, their crops non-existent or as shrivelled as their hopes for a good harvest, thousands are already food insecure.