Drought in West Africa threatens mass starvation
Several West African nations are at ‘crisis point’ due to a severe drought in the region. Harvests in Niger and Chad have fallen by a third, while food prices have increased by the same proportion. Both countries have declared a state of emergency.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) some 10 million people are at risk of hunger in the West African part of the Sahel, an ecological and geographical zone that stretches across the African continent. 13.4 million face hunger in Niger and two million in Chad. Mauritania and Mali are also at risk.
So far government age agencies and NGOs lack requisite funds to avoid starvation.
From a report in the Toronto Star:
They say 400,000 children under five are at risk of starvation and 2 million adults face severe food shortages in the wake of drought and spiking food prices. Save the Children and Oxfam have launched a $10-million emergency appeal, and the UN has a 50 per cent shortfall in funds to feed Niger until the September harvest.
Read this Irin News report for details on this potentially catastrophic situation in West Africa and watch the below video report from Al Jazeera English.
By Graham Land