West Africa food crisis appeal
In 2012 sporadic rains, poor harvests and insecurity put 18 million people at risk across Mali, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad, northern Nigeria and northern Cameroon. Your support has helped Caritas provide humanitarian aid during this critical time, reducing the impact of the crisis. Long term funding, however, is still required to build the resilience of those living in drought and conflict affected areas.
About the West Africa food crisis
In the midst of dry season leading up to the rains in the third quarter of 2012, millions of people across the Sahel region of West Africa were living through what is known as "the hunger period". Sporadic rains, poor harvests and insecurity put 18 million people at risk, and one million children under five years of age subsequently suffered from acute malnutrition. This food crisis remained acute until the end of 2012, but was largely averted because of above average rainfall, immediate humanitarian food support, and domestic and international resilience building initiatives.
This relative stability, however, has been significantly affected by the escalating conflict in Mali. Recent fighting between Malian government forces and Islamist rebels has left the country divided and forced 200,000 people to seek refuge in the government controlled south, as well as a further 155,000 in surrounding countries such as Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania. This crisis has placed increasing pressure on Mali’s neighbours and it is anticipated that it will result in a serious humanitarian situation for those fleeing and for those in neighbouring countries who are still recovering from the food insecurity of last year.
Your support is needed to help Caritas to continue to provide long term resilience programs in the region to prevent food insecurity in the future. The anticipated effects of the current conflict in Mali will impact on food security and this appeal will also respond to the immediate humanitarian needs of those affected by this crisis, both in Mali and in neighbouring countries.
For further updates on the current situation in Mali, please see this latest Caritas Internationalis update: Church in Mali urges international help as crisis unfolds (18 January 2013).
Delivering humanitarian aid throughout West Africa:
Learn more about our aid relief activities in the Sahel
There are some times when the children hold me and say grandma, we need to eat. I don’t have anything."Mintou Gani, Niger
Caritas is supplying food, water and seeds in Niger to help people like Mintou and her five grandchildren. Mintou's story
How you can help
Donate or fundraise for West Africa
Your financial support will make a real difference – it’s not too late.
Please suport Caritas Australia's West Africa food crisis appeal and help provide life-giving aid to people across the Sahel. Donations $2 and over are tax deductible.
In emergencies, Caritas Australia is mandated to deliver at least 92% of all funds raised to the emergency in question.