A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
In the Sahel region of West Africa, the last rainy season has been both too short and too weak to meet the needs of farmers and pastoralists. On top of the drought, pests have further weakened food production in some regions.
Theses photos, taken at the end of 2011 in Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Chad, show the extent of the food crisis people are already facing. But by investing now in the ability of vulnerable populations to cope, the worst impacts of the crisis can still be avoided.
Oxfam is hoping to reach one million people across Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger with humanitarian aid. Read more on the situation in the Sahel region and how Oxfam is responding: Food crisis in Sahel
All photos credit Irina Fuhrmann/Oxfam.