Situation Update: The Sahel Crisis 2012 (4 December 2012)


  • The growing season in the Sahel is coming to an end with good crop prospects. Still, the situation in the region remains difficult with the erosion of livelihoods during the 2012 crisis, owing to the uneven pastoral situation, flooding, the Desert Locust threat and high grain prices combined with widespread poverty and high vulnerability, in particular for those households that could not benefit from livelihood support during the past season.

  • During the 2012 Sahel crisis an estimated 18.7 million people have faced food and nutrition insecurity. More than 1 million children under five were at risk of severe acute malnutrition. Despite humanitarian assistance, millions may remain food insecure in 2013, especially as a result of the limited support to livelihoods in 2012 and cereal prices remaining at high level.

  • The humanitarian and security situation in Mali is deteriorating, due to the conflict in the northern part of the country, with serious repercussions on the region and beyond. An estimated 413 731 people have left their homes; 203 843 are internally displaced and 209 888 have crossed the borders to neighbouring countries, primarily Burkina Faso, Mauritania and the Niger.

  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has requested USD 112 million for urgent action in 2012, to improve the food and nutrition security of 7.8 million vulnerable people in the Sahel.

  • To date, FAO has received USD 41.2million. With this amount, FAO has assisted or is assisting more than 4.6 million beneficiaries by supporting food and livestock production, animal protection and related technical assistance.

  • As of now, funding has not been enough to adequately address the crisis in a timely manner and a funding gap of USD 70.8 million remains in order to address food and nutrition insecurity in the region.

  • Moreover, a Desert Locust threat, the most serious since 2005, is placing the livelihoods of 50 million people in the Sahel at risk.

  • An additional USD 10 million was requested to address the Desert Locust threat. In response to the appeal, FAO has received a total of USD 7.2 million, and USD 1 million has been committed bilaterally toward components identified within the requirements for the Niger.

  • Another USD 1.8 million is still needed to control the Desert Locust threat in the region.