WFP Sahel food crisis alert, as Plan Int’l urges long-term support
The World food Programme (WFP) warns of a looming food crisis in the Sahel region in West and Central Africa, while the charity Plan International has stressed the need to “focus on long-term support as well as emergency aid.”
WFP’s food crisis alert was given at a meeting of top executives of the UN agency to take stock of the situation and find the best response needed to be taken regarding the food crisis.
Thomas Yanga, WFP Regional Director for West and Central Africa tells WADR’s Alpha Jallow what they hope to achieve from the ongoing meeting.
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One of the countries seriously on the firing line is Niger.
With the current drought in the Western Sahel and the looming food crisis, Plan International Niger’s country director Rhéal Drisdelle has said “as families struggle to get by, children are often sent long distances away to work for money or food to supplement their family’s income or supplies.”
The group says around six million people in nearly seven thousand villages in Niger are thought likely to be affected by the food crisis over in the coming months.
“The findings of the government of Niger’s national food vulnerability survey will be published at the end of this month but the country’s food deficit is expected to be more than 500,000 metric tons, approximately 14% of the annual consumption of the total population. Around six million people in nearly 7000 villages are thought likely to be affected,” a Plan International statement said.
Climate change and other environmental problems are also said to be “impacting on food production and exacerbating poverty in Niger.”
Plan says it’s priorities ahead of the pending hunger season is to”help build communities build communities’ resilience through reinforcing existing livelihoods and to provide assistance to affected children and their families through school feeding and food distribution programmes.”