The Sahel region is among the poorest with national societies facing multiple hazards related to climate change, health emergencies and epidemics, and food insecurity due to locust invasions and desertification. The Sahel region is also a flood prone area and is concurrently experiencing isolated cases of drought. Malnutrition and food insecurity constitute very big challenges. Precarious weather and environmental conditions, added to consecutive food crises in most of Sahel countries caused relatively high malnutrition rates among children under five. In 2006, this rate had reached 39 per cent in Burkina Faso, 35 per cent in Mauritania, 33 per cent in Mali, and 15 per cent in Niger. Food insecurity is still looming over in these countries. Despite multiple initiatives and efforts, the malnutrition indicators have remained stable during the last decade. The poor human development is manifest in the high infant and child mortality and high maternal mortality rate. The situation of vulnerability in the Sahel is critical with the diversity and magnitude of different hazards, risks and vulnerabilities, including critical political and social environment.
In the 2009-2010 plan, the Federation's West and Central Africa Zone (WCAZ) DM team that also covers the Sahel is focusing on supporting the Sahel National Societies in disaster risk reduction including adaptation to climate change; early warning system development; preparation for, response to, and reporting on emergencies in a timely and appropriate manner. This will be done through supporting intervention initiatives at community level, and the creation of networks and partnerships to support disaster risk management including food security programmes and interventions based on the objectives of the Algiers Plan of Action.
During the first half of 2009, National societies in the Sahel implemented health and HIV projects with support from Federation Sahel+ at Dakar zone level. The main components of this programme were the fight against AIDS, the Malaria prevention and control through mass distribution followed by hang up and community based health programme of keep up, the preparedness and response to public health emergencies (poliomyelitis, yellow fever, measles ...) and the promotion of mother and child health. Meanwhile, within the framework of the programme planning and resource mobilization, the Sahel+ team supported the Red Cross Society of Guinea to elaborate maternal and child health project and raise fund. Finally, the Sahel team took an active part in building the capacities of the Mauritanian Red Crescent through the recruitment of a health programme coordinator.
The OD strategy for 2009-2010 is to accompany National Societies of the nine Sahel countries in the implementation of Strategy 2010, ARCHI 2010, Ouagadougou Declaration, Algiers Plan of Action and Johannesburg commitments by improving National Societies' capacities in service delivery to the most vulnerable. The 2009-2010 OD support is focused on National Societies needs and has been provided in 2009 in priority to countries which have expressed the willingness to have their governance and management bodies changed namely Mauritania and Guinea.
Our partners: The partners involved in this process are: Danish, Swedish, Canadian, Belgium, British, Norwegian, Icelandic, Spanish RC, ICRC office in Dakar, Guinea and Mauritania.
Financial situation: The total 2009 budget is CHF 1,242,713 (USD 1,066,706 or EUR 824,681) of which 98 per cent covered. Expenditure overall was 28 per cent.
The number of people we help: In Senegal and Gambia sensitization activities in the area of HIV have reached 271 people, and allowed train 50 volunteers. Some 35,600 women and youths aged 15-25 received training from the peer educators and IEC/BCC in Burkina Faso. In Mali, 44 messages carried by outreach radios that have reached more than 63,000 people and more than 6,600 households have been visited. In Burkina Faso, 4,730,605 children were immunized during mass vaccination campaign. More than 350,600 people directly through "door-to-door" sensitization; 28,458 households and 2,145 villages and hamlets have been visited in Niger.