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.
The first warnings of drought and poor harvests in Africa’s Sahel region emerged in late 2011, and vulnerable communities in many areas have been threatened by a looming food crisis. That crisis is now a reality, with 18.4 million people in nine countries vulnerable to its impact. Food stocks have already run out for some communities and are running dangerously low for others. Support to protect lives and livelihoods is urgently needed before the crisis becomes an emergency.
Oxfam, ROPPA, RBM, APESS, POSCAO and WiLDAF are calling on donors, national governments, regional organizations, NGOs and UN agencies to fund support, target and coordinate effective assistance to the most vulnerable people, support regional markets, and invest in long-term resilience the break the hunger cycle.
This paper was first published in April 2012 and updated in May 2012.
A Dangerous Delay: The cost of late response to early warnings in the 2011 drought in the Horn of Africa
Sahel Food Crisis: Oxfam's humanitarian response