August 2012 - Drought, poverty and skyrocketing food prices have exhausted families’ food reserves across West Africa. Since the severe drought of 2005, communities have not had two consecutive years of good harvests. A lack of rainfall has ruined crops and forced farmers to sell their animals at low prices to buy food.
The annual hunger season, which usually lasts from July to October, began five months early this year, and there are now more than 18 million people affected by the food crisis, the highest concentration in the region since 2005. One million children could die from severe acute malnutrition and three million more are at risk of moderate acute malnutrition.
Action Against Hunger first warned of this crisis as early as October 2011 using satellite imagery tracking temperature, water vapour, vegetation health and other indicators that showed worrying trends in biomass losses. As the crisis continues to grow, Action Against Hunger teams are putting their long-term presence in the region into action — responding in Senegal, Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Chad, Burkina Faso and northern Nigeria — and aim to assist some 800,000 people across the region.
Read our latest update on the crisis in West Africa and what Action Against Hunger teams are doing about it.