Top of the Morning: Dire Warnings on Sahel Crisis

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Dire Warnings on the Humanitarian Crisis in Sahel

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is sounding the alarm on a worsening crisis in the sahel. Also, on top of all this a locust infestation is expected to affect 50 million people. “With the first rains, planting activities for the  ongoing food production campaign in the  Sahel region have started. But despite improved water availability and significant food assistance targeting 18.7 million people,  the most vulnerable households are  continuing to sell their livelihoods assets,  including their livestock, eroding further their  capacity to cope with this crisis.  The food security and nutrition situation of  vulnerable families is likely to worsen during  the lean period from June to September  which had an early start this year. Crops  won’t be harvested yet and food reserves are  exhausted. High grain prices, especially in the  Central Basin, are an aggravating factor.   In August, according to WFP, humanitarian assistance will be the main means of survival  for many. The programme, which has supported over six million people since January, is appealing for urgent contributions of US$115 million to address pipeline shortfalls for the next three months.Underfunding is also threatening the ability to support domestic animal production and agricultural activities, notably preparations for the next production campaign from October to December, with FAO’s financial requirements of US$ 112 million only 24 per cent funded.” (OCHA –PDF