Although Senegal has one of the most stable economies in West Africa, it also has high rates of poverty and unemployment - around half of the population lives below the poverty line. Senegal struggles with high rates of maternal and infant mortality, malaria, poor access to water, sanitation and hygiene and healthcare. Each year, the country sees cases of malnutrition spike in the summer months.
Low harvest yields in 2011 led to the declaration of a malnutrition emergency in April of 2012. Action Against Hunger responded to the emergency by launching emergency nutrition programmes. Our teams treated 85,000 malnourished individuals in Senegal and across the Sahel during the crisis. Although the food crisis is now less critical, the country struggles with high rates of maternal and infant mortality, especially in northern remote rural areas like Matam, where access to basic services is limited.
Many families in north-eastern Senegal rely on subsistence agriculture or nomadic herding to make a living and are confronted with some of the most challenging environmental conditions in the world in which to grow food and rear cattle. Thousands of children under five suffer from severe acute malnutrition in a persistent annual crisis.
What we are doing
Action Against Hunger launched programmes in Senegal in 2012 and is currently working in Dakar, Matam, Podor and Louga.
Our programmes include:
- Screening, diagnosis and treating malnourished children
- Strengthening the capacity of local government agencies to tackle severe acute malnutrition
- Improving access to a diversified diet through vegetable gardening programmes and cooking demonstrations
- Improving access to water, sanitation & hygiene
- Disaster risk reduction programmes to help create the conditions whereby people can thrive in spite of disaster risks and climatic changes