Some 13 million people are at severe risk from a food crisis which is set to escalate into a full scale humanitarian emergency in the Sahel region of West and Central Africa if urgent action is not taken.
Estimates of people in need of assistance in the Sahel increases to over 11 million people, as agency warns humanitarian efforts need to be stepped up in the coming weeks.
On the eve of the 2012 African Cup of Nations, more than 25 footballers have spoken out in solidarity with millions of people facing hunger across their region.
Millions of people in West Africa could be protected from a serious food crisis if preparations are scaled up across West Africa, Oxfam said today.
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.