The 2013 Sahel Strategy aims to respond to the ‘triple crisis’ currently affecting the Sahel: i) the continued humanitarian impact of acute crisis of 2012 due to factors such as drought in 2011, high food prices and low agriculture production; ii) the underlying chronic nature of food insecurity, malnutrition and the erosion of resilience in the region; and iii) the current Mali crisis, which has resulted in the significant displacement of IDPs within the country and an on-going exodus of refugees to neighbouring countries.
Food security and nutrition in the Sahel have improved somewhat since the acute crisis earlier in 2012, following better rains and harvests in the last few months. However, the effects of the recent crisis are not so quickly erased: for example many households did not have the ability to cultivate to the full extent and so did not benefit from the rains.
The effects of negative coping measures and loss of assets will persist unless remedied. Supporting communities to get back on their feet at the earliest time possible is vital for communities to rebuild their lives, and withstand future droughts. The on-going situation in northern Mali, and possible regional military response to it, will also have profound effects in 2013 in both Mali and on its neighbours.
The 2013 Sahel Strategy provides a summary of humanitarian needs of countries in the region. It covers five CAPs (Chad, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso and Mauritania) and the humanitarian strategies of non-CAP countries (Cameroon, The Gambia, Nigeria and Senegal). The strategy aims to present a common approach that includes: a shared regional context/situation analysis; common regional strategic goals and objectives; performance indicators and systematic monitoring that provides evidence-based needs and gaps analysis.
To provide better and adequate response to emerging and existing humanitarian needs in 2013, approximately US$1.66 billion is needed to respond to the most vulnerable people in nine Sahel Countries, broken down as follows: food security US$623 million (38per cent), nutrition US$273 million (16 per cent), multi-sector assistance to refugee US$323 (20 per cent), WASH US$ 112 (7 per cent).
The humanitarian situation in the Sahel is not static. At the time of writing, information continues to come in on the food security and nutritional status of populations, the number and needs of the internally displaced and refugee populations and responses being put in place in this regard. With this in mind, the 2013 Sahel Strategy will be reviewed in the first quarter of the year and updated as necessary.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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