Situation Update: The Sahel Crisis 2012 (5 October 2012)


  • The growing season in the Sahel witnessed a regular start. Still, difficulties of access to food and seeds are noted in many countries of the subregion and 18.7 million people are facing food and nutrition insecurity. More than 1 million children under the age of five are at risk of severe acute malnutrition.

  • The situation in Mali is particularly severe with food and water shortages, low cereal supply, high food prices, insecurity, political instability and an estimated 393 431 displaced persons. A cholera outbreak during July in northern Mali is further aggravating the situation. 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 39.5 million. With this amount, FAO 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 72.5 million remains in order to address food and nutrition insecurity in the region.

  • Moreover, a desert locust infestation, the most serious since 2005, is threatening the livelihoods of 50 million people in the Sahel.

  • 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 3.1 million, and USD 1 million has been committed bilaterally toward components identified within the requirements for the Niger.

  • Another USD 5.9 million is still needed to control the desert locust threat in the region.