A call for help: 18 million at risk of hunger in the Sahel
It started with a food crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa, caused by severe drought and locust infestation. Then conflict forced more than 435,000 Malian people from their homes, straining the already weak food supply. Next, cholera stuck the camps where many of the refugees sought shelter.
Months later when the rain finally came, half a year’s worth pounded down in just six hours, washing away seedlings that started to grow for fall harvest, destroying the little food people had left, their farms and their homes.
Response is critical
As the food and refugee crisis continues to unfold, 18 million people – almost half of whom are women and children – are at risk from hunger. There also nearly 1.5 million children under the age of five who live in the Sahel region and who are currently at risk of acute malnutrition.
An early response is critical to saving lives in the Sahel region of West Africa. Plan is on the ground working to help the most vulnerable people survive the food and refugee crisis but we need your help to reach as many children as possible.
Your donation will help Plan respond quickly to the West Africa food crisis, and until September 30, 2012, your donation will be matched by the Canadian government and have twice the impact.
An important trip to the Sahel
Plan’s President and CEO, Rosemary McCarney, traveled to Burkina Faso with Julian Fantino, Minister for International Cooperation and head of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), to raise awareness on the growing crisis in the Sahel and see Plan’s relief efforts firsthand.
“The largest challenge facing humanitarian responders is inspiring Canadians to give before this crisis becomes an emergency,” said, Rosemary McCarney. “We are challenged to inspire Canadians to trust that they can help us avert a catastrophe.”
Plan’s CEO, Rosemary McCarney, and Canada’s Minister of International Cooperation, Julian Fantino, are briefed on the refugee crisis at a health centre in Namassa, Burkina Faso.
Minister Fantino visits the health centre in Namassa, Burkina Faso and learns about blanket feeding – a method used for young children suffering from malnutrition in an emergency.
Minister Fantino provides a woman with ready-to-use therapeutic food (a peanut-based nutrient to treat severe malnutrition) for her child.
Refugee children living in the Mentao refugee camp in Burkina Faso celebrate the arrival of Rosemary McCarney and Minister Fantino by wearing t-shirts donated by Plan.
Rosemary and Minister Fantino meet with a women’s group at the refugee camp. The women voice concerns about their children’s nutrition and education.
Rosemary greets some of the children attending class in the makeshift school set up in the Mentao refugee camp.
Minister Fantino talks with some of the children about life in the refugee camp.
Plan is supporting the education of children in the refugee camp so that the disruption to their schooling is minimal.
Without immediate and continued support from the international community, the Sahel food and refugee crisis threatens to claim hundreds of thousands of lives.
Plan staff are working around the clock to provide food, water, shelter, blankets and bed nets, as well as access to health care, temporary education, protection and livelihood. With your help, we can save more lives.
Simply by making a donation today, you can help:
- Feed children through Plan’s food distribution network, school meal initiatives and food voucher programs
- Save children now suffering the effects of malnutrition with health care and specialized nourishment
- Protect children during migrations that leave them vulnerable to hunger, disease and child traffickers.
Plan is proud to participate in the HUMANITARIAN COALITION, comprised of Plan Canada, CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec and Save the Children Canada, five of Canada’s largest relief agencies. By joining our efforts, the HUMANITARIAN COALITION will increase the impact of Canadian humanitarian responses and reduce administrative costs.
To find out more, visit the HUMANITARIAN COALITION website at www.together.ca.
Read more about what Plan is doing to help.