Drought Threatens Africa’s Sahel Region; Aid Agencies Worry About Donor Fatigue

“For the third time in the past decade, drought has returned to the arid, western shoulder of Africa, bringing hunger to millions,” and “[a]id agencies are warning that if action is not taken now, the region known as the Sahel could slip into crisis,” the Associated Press reports. “Aid workers also worry that donors are suffering from ‘famine fatigue,’ as the looming West African crisis comes just six months after Somalia’s capital was declared a famine zone,” the news agency writes.

“‘I think there is a real risk that people may think this is the kind of thing that just happens every few years,’ Stephen Cockburn, the West Africa regional campaign manager for Oxfam, said of the droughts in the Sahel,” according to the AP. “Droughts in the Sahel — a region spanning eight countries, including northern Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, northern Nigeria, Cameroon and southern Chad — have become increasingly frequent with emergencies declared in 2005, 2008 and 2010,” the AP writes (Callimachi, 1/22).