Humanitarian organizations including Save the Children and ‘Action Contre la Faim’, have issued a statement urging international donors to participate in the fight against hunger in the Sahel.By Edouard Toure
“As violence and massacres continue unabated forcing more and more people to flee their homes, humanitarian needs are exploding and funding is dwindling rapidly. In the middle of 2020, the humanitarian response plans for the Sahel will only be funded to the tune of 26 percent or even less,” the NGOs note.
According to them, already in 2019, only half of the necessary funding could have been mobilized.
“Faced with the emergency of the situation in the Sahel, and while the lean season from July to August is expected to worsen the situation for millions of people, the postponement of the donors’ conference (initially scheduled for June 18) is yet another blow which is likely to be fatal for millions of Sahelians. Hunger does not wait. The international community cannot abandon the Sahel at a time when people need help the most; we are at a breaking point,” the organizations say.
They point out that the advent of the Covid-19 has only exacerbated the humanitarian and food crisis.
In the central Sahel, 5.5 million are expected to suffer from food insecurity during the lean season, 2.5 times more than the average of the past five years.
Action taken by countries to slow the pandemic has avoided the disaster scenarios announced at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, they have also weakened households, and in the first place, the most precarious.
“The Covid-19 pandemic added additional pressure to an already untenable situation. The lean period has always been a difficult period for the Sahelian populations, but in this explosive context, it is the season of all dangers and the arrival of the rains will increase the cases of malaria and cholera. Access to essential health services and water is all the more essential in the context of disease and pandemic and is largely insufficient today,” the NGOs lament.