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U.N. Official Urges Global Community To Act On Drought, Hunger In Africa’s Sahel Region

Olivier De Schutter, the U.N. special rapporteur on the right to food, on Tuesday “urged the global community to take quick action to prevent millions of people in Africa’s Sahel region from slipping into a full-scale food emergency, warning that drought, poor harvests and rising food prices have left the region on the brink of a humanitarian crisis,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “The area currently affected by the crisis covers a vast swath of territory, including Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger but concerns have also been extended to other countries in the region such as Burking Faso and Senegal,” according to the news service (1/24).

“Humanitarian organizations estimate that 1.3 million people are suffering from acute malnutrition across the Sahel,” and over the next seven to eight months, up to 12 million people will face difficulty procuring food, the Guardian reports (Tran, 1/23). In Niger, “[n]early half [the] population does not have enough to eat and the government says it is facing a grain shortfall of 692,501 tons,” IRIN notes (1/24).

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