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Relief Groups Appeal For Aid To Tackle Worsening Food Crisis In West Africa

“Relief groups are stepping up their appeals for aid to tackle the worsening food crisis in West Africa, where more than 18 million people face hunger,” the Guardian reports. “Relief agencies have been sounding the alarm for months about the effects of drought on the Sahel — a region stretching from the Atlantic to the Red Sea,” the newspaper writes, adding, “The situation has been made worse by the knock-on effect of the Libyan uprising that has destabilized Mali” (Tran, 6/12). UNICEF “forecasts that, over the course of 2012, at least 1.1 million children would need to be treated and 5,200 specialist treatment centers will need to be established to cope with the crisis,” the U.N. News Centre notes (6/11).

“Save the Children, which has increased its emergency operations in the Sahel, on Tuesday said it faces a funding shortfall of almost £26 million [$40.3 million],” the Guardian writes. According to the newspaper, DfID last week “announced it was donating £10 million [$15.5 million] to the west Africa food crisis”; USAID “has announced an additional $81 million (£52.3 million) in humanitarian assistance for the region, bringing its total aid for the Sahel this year to $308 million”; and UNICEF on Monday “doubled its appeal for funds to £153 million [$237.1 million] to help children affected by the food crisis in the Sahel” (6/12).