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 in 2012 a combination of a lack of rain and an increase in food prices meant that around 18 million people were facing starvation.
We responded to this food crisis through cash transfer programs to the most vulnerable families, distribution of seeds and support for building new livelihoods. We were able to provide for the needs of almost a million people across a number of countries: Mauritania, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Chad.
The relative success of this response is down to all the lessons we had learned during our response in the Horn of Africa the previous year, where it was clear that an early response is a key factor in ensuring the greatest impact.
We're continuing our work in the Sahel to prevent food crises affecting more people.