With 27 million people going hungry, West Africa is experiencing its greatest food crisis in a decade. Unless immediate action is taken, this number might soar to 38 million in June, a new historic high and an increase of more than a third over last year.
This alert is being issued by eleven international organisations in reaction to new Cadre Harmonisé (CH) studies released in March 2022, just in time for the European Union and the Sahel and West Africa Club’s virtual summit on the food and nutrition crises in the Sahel and Lake Chad.
Food crises have been rising in the West African region over the last decade, especially in Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Mali, and Nigeria.
“Cereal production in some parts of the Sahel has dropped by about a third compared to last year. Family food supplies are running out. Drought, floods, conflict, and the economic impacts of COVID-19 have forced millions of people off their land, pushing them to the brink” says Assalama Dawalack Sidi, Oxfam’s regional director for West and Central Africa.
In the Sahel, malnutrition is on the rise. According to the United Nations, 6.3 million children aged 6 to 59 months would be acutely malnourished this year, with more than 1.4 million of them in the severe acute malnutrition stage, compared to 4.9 million in 2021.
Despite the critical role that women and girls play in feeding the household, social conventions dictate that when there isn’t enough food for everyone, they are the first to go hungry or make sacrifices, putting their health or lives in danger.
Ely Keita, CARE Country Director in Mali, said that food crisis, such as the one we’re witnessing in West Africa, exacerbate tensions within homes, and women and girls are more vulnerable to gender-based violence. Given the importance of women and girls in Mali’s agricultural system, food insecurity has the potential to push them into unethical behaviour. We will be unable to prevent and combat the hunger problem if we do not grasp these facts.
Copyright: News Central TV
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central TV.