Millions Of People In Sahel Continue To Need Food Assistance, Oxfam Report Says

“The humanitarian response to the 2012 food crisis in Africa’s Sahel region was bigger and better than in previous emergencies, but millions of people still did not receive the assistance they needed and many remain vulnerable to hunger, Oxfam said in a report on Tuesday,” AlertNet reports. “The report said that more than five million people received food aid from the World Food Programme alone in 2012, and more children were treated for malnutrition than ever before,” the news service writes, adding the early report system worked, some donors quickly released funding, and aid agencies responded fast, according to the report. However, the food crisis still affects about 18 million people across nine countries, and “[s]ome 10 million people in the Sahel still urgently need help to feed their families and rebuild their livelihoods, the report said,” AlertNet states, noting “a $1.7 billion 2013 U.N. appeal for the region is only a quarter covered.”

According to the news service, the report said, “It is vital to increase investment in small-scale agriculture, local and national food reserves, and social protection programs, as well as scaling up efforts to prevent and treat undernutrition.” Oxfam Regional Director for West Africa David Macdonald said, “We need to radically change the way we respond to these recurrent crises to both save lives and put people on a better footing to withstand this cycle of hunger,” AlertNet writes (Rowling, 4/16).