News / Africa

    Agencies Assess Humanitarian Needs in the Sahel

    African Union Chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (front L) and Mali's President Dioncounda Traore attend a high level international meeting in Bamako, October 19, 2012.
    African Union Chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (front L) and Mali's President Dioncounda Traore attend a high level international meeting in Bamako, October 19, 2012.
    Nancy Palus
    Millions of people across West Africa’s Sahel region face a double crisis, as fallout from the northern Mali conflict hits areas already facing severe food shortages. Gathering Saturday in the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou, officials with the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, regional bodies and donors wrapped up a week-long, three-country trip aimed at highlighting the humanitarian situation in the Sahel.

    The officials spent time in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, visiting flood zones, health centers and refugee camps, and talking to local leaders and civil society.  United Nations officials say the mission’s aim is to draw attention to conditions in the Sahel, as well as identify the greatest remaining needs and plan future assistance.

     

    In many parts of the Sahel, the takeover of northern Mali by Islamic extremist groups has further burdened communities already facing hunger. In recent months flooding, locust invasions and cholera outbreaks have complicated conditions.

     

    The United Nations says more than 18 million people in West Africa’s Sahel region - which stretches from Senegal to Chad - are at risk from food shortages and malnutrition. Since early 2012 governments and aid agencies have already provided food and nutrition aid, but significant needs remain.

     

    Clémence Traoré is social affairs minister in Burkina Faso, where the U.N. says about 34,000 Malians have sought refuge.  As it is, some 2.8 million people in Burkina face food shortages, with 100,000 children at risk of severe malnutrition.

     

    She says, we must continue to support Malians who have fled to Burkina Faso.  We don’t know when the crisis in Mali will end, she says, and with the threat of fighting there we could even see another wave of refugees.

     

    The interim Malian government and regional organizations are finalizing plans for a West African military intervention to take back northern Mali from the al-Qaida linked groups. Observers say the action could still be months away.

     

    Minister Traoré added that it is also critical to help Burkinabé communities hosting Malian refugees.

     

    Inside Mali, the United Nations estimates that one-third of the country’s 15.8 million people are in immediate need of humanitarian aid.

     

    Donors have given nearly 60 percent of the $1.6 billion the U.N. says it needs for the Sahel region - Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.

     

    Pascal Karorero, U.N. representative in Burkina Faso, said communities need help not only to eat today but also to rebuild their livelihoods.

     

    He says many people hit by this year’s food shortages have sold off their animals and other belongings. He says the idea is to help families re-establish their means of survival for future years.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora