The Sahel Working Group, a consortium of International NGOs, today launched a report evaluating the responses to the 2005 and 2010 food crises, concluding that the Sahel is “in a state of permanent crisis” requiring smarter and earlier investment in the region.
Given the rapid expansion and recurrence of the food crises in West Africa and the inadequate responses of policy makers and other actors, Oxfam and Bilital Maroobe say it is necessary to rethink the strategies to implement in order to respond to these recurring disasters.
Floods and heavy rains across Niger have destroyed crops less than two months before harvest, compounding the country's existing food crisis. Flooding has killed at least six people, left thousands homeless, ruined crops and forced hungry families to crisis point.
The World Food Program (WFP) in Niger, the country worst-hit by the West Africa food crisis, has been forced to make an "agonizing" decision to abandon plans to provide emergency food to families with children over the age of two because of a huge funding shortfall.
Insufficient funding and delays in food delivery threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands in the Sahel belt of West Africa. There is little excuse for the lack of adequate funding and delays – the international community had been warned of the magnitude of the unfolding crisis for months.