How to prevent another food crisis in Sahel

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

As a new food crisis looms, what lessons have been learned since the last two severe crises in the Sahel region of West Africa in 2005 and 2010? What has to change so that every drought does not result in a new humanitarian crisis? As we hear more and more stories of the impact of failed rains across the Sahel region, how can aid be made more effective to prevent the next food crisis?

Peter Gubbels, Groundswell International's co-coordinator for West Africa, presents an overview of the comprehensive report, "Escaping the hunger cycle: pathways to resilience in the Sahel" that he prepared on behalf of the Sahel Working Group. The report is based on interviews with over 70 practitioners, researchers, representatives from donors, governments and the UN, as well as field visits in Niger and Chad, and relevant literature and reports.

It is intended to guide decisionmakers to strengthen preparedness, early response and rural livelihoods; and emphasise policies on social protection, disaster risk reduction, malnutrition and food price volatility. The important research contained in the report has already generated considerable interest among the aid community and policymakers in the Sahel.

The participating agencies that jointly commissioned this report are: ACT Alliance member Christian Aid, CARE International UK, Concern Worldwide, Oxfam GB, CAFOD, Plan UK, Save the Children UK, Tearfund, and World Vision UK.