News / Africa

UN Launches New Plan to Tackle Chronic Hunger in Sahel

FILE - Mothers and their malnourished children at an intensive nutritional rehabilitation center in Tanout, southern Niger, April 27, 2010.FILE - Mothers and their malnourished children at an intensive nutritional rehabilitation center in Tanout, southern Niger, April 27, 2010.
x
FILE - Mothers and their malnourished children at an intensive nutritional rehabilitation center in Tanout, southern Niger, April 27, 2010.
FILE - Mothers and their malnourished children at an intensive nutritional rehabilitation center in Tanout, southern Niger, April 27, 2010.
Lisa Schlein
The United Nations has announced a new three-year action plan to tackle chronic hunger in Africa’s Sahel region.  The U.N. is appealing for $2 billion to provide humanitarian assistance for 20 million people across the region in 2014.  

More people than ever are at risk in the Sahel, according to the U.N.  It says the number of people lacking access to food this year is almost twice as many as in 2013.  And, of the 20 million people suffering food shortages, it says 2.5 million are in urgent need of life-saving assistance.  

In the midst of this bleak assessment, the U.N. notes Mali and Burkina Faso have made dramatic progress in reducing the numbers of people dependent on aid.  But, it says this good news is balanced by a big jump in insecurity in northern Nigeria, and the northern Sahelian parts of Cameroon and Senegal.  

The U.N. regional humanitarian coordinator for the Sahel, Robert Piper, says the Sahel is a very fragile region, beset by poverty, limited basic services, risk of epidemics and erratic climate.  He says it takes very little to push millions of vulnerable people over the edge.

“We need to approach this situation differently in a region with chronic problems," said Piper. "This is not a sudden cyclone in the Philippines, for example, but a region that is facing chronic challenges.  We are working differently in the light of this.  We are focusing on building resilience of families, intervening very early as the signals are seen in order to catch them before they lose too many of their assets."

Piper says the U.N. for the first time is embarking on a three-year plan so aid agencies can work systematically around these very complex issues.  But, he says right now the Sahel is in the midst of an ongoing emergency and time is of the essence.

Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization Jose Graziano da Silva says his agency’s first priority is to make sure farmers in the Sahel have a successful planting season.

He says the best action is to prevent a bad harvest and food shortages from occurring.  He says this kind of prevention makes great economic sense.   

“Every dollar that we invested in early agriculture support we can save up to $20 in food assistance later," he said. "So, this number multiplied to 20 is very significant.  And, we hope that we can…build resilience before the drought affects the region as we did early.”   

But, he says the challenges ahead are daunting.  He notes population growth in the region is outstripping a slight increase in food production in 2013.  He adds the problem of food shortages is compounded by skyrocketing prices in most markets.

You May Like

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

Studies point to possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Senkaku ONLY!!! from: Senkaku City, Senkaku Is.
February 03, 2014 3:22 PM
So where is Cheapskate China when the people of Africa need help with famine? Oh that's right: Cheapskate China must have given all it's famine aide to Philipines disaster relief. NOT!

Yeah, China is Africa's best new friend when there are mineral riches to be stolen out of Africa, and then they just expect the Western civilization to take care of the African people left to suffer, while they cart off all the goods back to China.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More