ACT eyewitness account in Sahel

Monday, February 20, 2012

Twelve million people across five West African countries teeter on the brink of famine. Drought, crop failure, inadequate recovery from previous crises, and rising food prices have propelled the governments of Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Chad and Niger to declare states of emergency and call for international assistance.

ACT Alliance governing board member and international director of Christian Aid, Paul Valentin, recently travelled to Burkina Faso to assess the current humanitarian situation and the impact of ongoing resilience programs there.

During the wide-ranging audio interview (please click on the orange arrow above to listen), Paul talks about the factors contributing to the deepening food insecurity in the region and what actions the international community must take to address it – including how to more effectively engage the media. He concludes by describing some of the successful resilience programs he visited during his trip that have provided hope in the midst of drought and despair and offer a blueprint for a way beyond chronic food insecurity.