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25 Apr 2012 description

Unrest and uncertainty are continuing in the West African state of Mali, as rebel separatist forces have taken control of the northern desert region. Interim civilian power has been restored in the capital, Bamako, after last month’s military coup, but Mali’s political future is still unclear. Violence in the north continues and many thousands of people are still fleeing their homes – either to move further south or to cross the borders into neighboring countries. CRS remains committed to serve the people of Mali and to continue its relief and development work there.

09 Mar 2012 description

What is happening in the Sahel?

A drought is threatening millions of people in the Sahel, the swath across Africa bordering the Sahara desert. Millions of people are at risk of severe food shortages unless there is a major humanitarian response.

How many people, and in what countries, are affected by this food crisis?

Up to 12 million people, including nearly three million children, are at risk of hunger in parts of Chad, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Gambia, Cameroon and northern Nigeria.

31 Aug 2008 description


This update provides members of the regional Food Security and Nutrition Working Group and other decision-makers in West Africa with an overview of regional food security, including the implications of international and sub-regional market trends on food security and nutrition. Information is based on reports by CILSS, FEWS NET, the Club du Sahel, and national Market Information Systems. This edition of this publication focuses on food security during the lean season in key areas of the sub-region.


06 Sep 2005 description

Sparked by a severe drought and devastating infestation of locusts, the food shortage is affecting countries across Africa's Sahel region. Millions of people in Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal are also facing starvation. With help from its partners, CRS has stepped up its emergency relief efforts and long-term responses throughout the region.

In Niger, CRS' $5 million emergency relief effort targets 307,000 Nigeriens through Food for Work programs, recovery activities and emergency food distributions.

04 Aug 2005 description

CRS field reports confirm first-hand the desperate hunger crisis facing Africa's Sahel region -- which includes Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.

Millions of starving people, especially children, need food now.

- A severe food shortage is affecting more than 3.6 million people in Niger. A double blow of drought this year on the heals of a devastating locust invasion last year has resulted in a loss of 60 to 80 percent of crops in communities already suffering from chronic poverty in the world's second poorest country.

15 Sep 2004 description

Since last summer, an upsurge in locust breeding has occurred in the Sahelian region of Western Africa. Extremely heavy and continuous rainfall has created ideal ecological conditions for breeding, prompting officials to call this upsurge the worst locust plague to hit the Sahel region in almost two decades.

Agricultural experts have estimated that more than two million hectares (4.9 million acres) of land in the Sahel are already infested with locusts, roughly three quarters of that area is in Mauritania.

14 Sep 2004 description

September 14, 2004, Baltimore, MD -- As agricultural programs across West Africa show the devastation of the swarms of desert locusts that have descended upon the region, pest control measures so far have reached only a fraction of the areas already hit by what the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has described as the worst plague since 1987-1989.

"The sky was dark of locusts and the swarm was everywhere. Children were burning abandoned tires and dry wood to keep away the locusts," said Massamba Gningue of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Senegal.