News / Africa

More Than One Million Mauritanians Face Hunger in 2012

Image released by Oxfam shows a women pointing at the dry land in Oud Guedara. Early indicators point to a likely food crisis in 2012, with people at particularly high risk in Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad, December 11, 2011.
Image released by Oxfam shows a women pointing at the dry land in Oud Guedara. Early indicators point to a likely food crisis in 2012, with people at particularly high risk in Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad, December 11, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +
Lisa Schlein

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies says more than one million Mauritanians could face hunger in the New Year unless immediate action is taken. 

Mauritania is suffering from the combined effects of drought, poor harvests and rising food prices, making life extremely difficult for tens of thousands of people who cannot afford to buy what little food is available on the market.

The International Red Cross Federation predicts the number of people likely to face food shortages could reach 1.2 million in January, the first month of the New Year.  

Red Cross spokeswoman Jessica Sallabank says immediate steps must be taken to prevent, what could become, a hunger crisis equal to that in the devastated Horn of Africa.

She says the Red Cross needs to raise more than $2 million to quickly get as much food as possible in place to head off the crisis threatening Mauritania.

“The money raised is aimed to assist over 10,000 households, 10,000 families," said Sallabank. "And priority spending for these funds will be again fodder for livestock, to provide seeds and tools for farmers, people living in rural communities, to provide food relief to people who do not have enough food, and also help to maintain and support the nutrition centers that exist already in the country.”

The Red Cross Federation says it is concerned in particular about malnutrition rates for children under two years of age. It notes the southern Mauritanian regions of Brakna and Gorgol have the highest acute malnutrition rates in the country.

Sallabank says a priority for the Mauritanian Red Crescent is to provide badly malnourished children with life-saving supplementary nutrition, such as rice and cereals.  

She says in an effort to prevent recurring food crises, the Red Cross plans to implement activities to help make people less dependent on rainwater for their food security.

“These programs for example include investing in different irrigation systems for crops.  So, for example, training or introducing drip-feed systems into rural communities, which enable crops to be watered more consistently and for a longer period of time, even in times of drought," she said. "Also, another way in which we could really help people better withstand the shock of drought is by digging deep water wells.  The Mauritanian Red Crescent staff and the volunteers are out in the communities and they are digging much deeper water wells in villages, which obviously their families can still access water in times of severe drought.” 

Red Cross officials say a new tragedy could be avoided in Mauritania if the international community responds to the needs immediately, and action is taken now.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid