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.
Some 10 million people – 44 percent of the population of Yemen – do not have enough food to eat. Oxfam’s Caroline Gluck reports on the worsening humanitarian situation there.
One year after the declaration of famine in Somalia, a quarter of the country’s population are still surviving on humanitarian aid and over a million people could fall back into food crisis in the next two months.
The 2011 drought across the Horn of Africa was, in some places, the worst to hit the region for 60 years. Three countries were hit by the drought: Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.
Oxfam spokesperson Carlos Zarco said:
The Yemeni people are facing a worsening humanitarian crisis with more than ten million – 44 percent of the population – facing food insecurity.
Yemen is on the brink of a catastrophic food crisis, seven aid agencies said today (23 May 2012) with 10 million people – 44 percent of the population – without enough food to eat. The aid agencies warned that malnutrition rates recorded by the UN in some parts of the country were alarming, with one in three children severely malnourished.
Eric Mamboue Oxfam Country director in Mali said:
“I used to be able to harvest 100 bundles of millet from my field."
Humanitarian actors are concerned by the early depletion of food reserves of many Nigerien families and warn of the risk of aggravation of the food and nutrition crisis if the aid response is not rapidly reinforced.
In 2012 countries across the Sahel region are once again facing a serious food crisis. This ecologically fragile region is becoming increasingly vunerable to insufficient rainfall, and fluctuating animal and food prices that are affecting millions of pastoral and agro-pastoralists across this region of Africa.