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Home > Action Zones > Politics and Social Action > West Africa food crisis appeal

West Africa food crisis appealCAredRGB

Christian Aid has launched an emergency appeal as more than 13 million people across five west African countries are in the midst of a severe food crisis.

Niger, Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania are all facing a chronic malnutrition crisis, and in many areas communities are surviving by eating wild roots and fruits and restricting themselves to one meal a day. A million children are at risk from malnutrition.

Christian Aid has already provided funds to finance an urgent early intervention programme in those countries where we have long-term partners and donating to our appeal will help continue extend the scope of this work.

The programme includes:

• providing food to those most in need and treating malnourished children in Burkina Faso.

• cash-for-work programmes in Mali where the most vulnerable receive seeds and prepare their land to withstand drought.

We are also preparing to scale up our response in these countries as well as in Niger and Senegal.

Current crisis

The current crisis is the latest peak in a situation of longstanding food insecurity in the Sahel. Due to lack of rain and widespread drought, Niger has experienced a shortfall of more than 500,000 tonnes of grain and 10 million tonnes of animal feed. In Mali, 11% of the country’s cereal production has been lost. In Burkina Faso, deficits could leave as many as two million people at risk.

The situation has been exacerbated by rising food prices, political instability in Libya and Cote d’Ivoire and conflict in Mali which has driven thousands of displaced people into regions already desperately low on food and pasture.

Christian Aid believes that a further $450m is needed from donor countries to meet the $724m needed to prevent the food crisis. 

Prayer and church resources

Please use our prayer and church resources to help us respond to this crisis. 

Prayers and resources

Podcast: West Africa on the brink

In this podcast, Christian Aid's Amanda Farrant reports from northern Burkina Faso where droughts and failed harvests have left communities facing the prospect of famine.


Briefing paper

Million people are facing a food and livelihoods crisis in the Sahel, as a result of drought-reduced crop yields, high cereal prices, a lack of migrant labour work, and displacement due to regional insecurity.

Immediate action and coordination by donors, INGOs and the UN is needed, to raise the US$724m needed to prevent the food crisis. Without an effective response now, millions could face severe hunger and past improvements to resilience could be wiped out.

We are working with other UK agencies through the Sahel Working Group (SWG) both in the UK and in the region.

The SWG report, Escaping the Hunger Cycle: Pathways to Resilience in the Sahel, was launched late last year. Download it here: http://community.eldis.org/.5a338083