from ISSOUF TRAORE in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso Bureau
OUAGADOUGOU, (CAJ News) – MORE than 10,5 million people in the Sahel region Africa are at risk of hunger during the upcoming agricultural lean period.
This as conflict worsens ongoing food crises.
Countries comprising Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger will be affected.
At least 2 million people have been displaced across the four countries due to conflict.
Of those, 70 percent are in Burkina Faso where insecurity has forced almost 10 percent of the population and 1,8 million people have been forced to flee their homes in search for safety.
Aid organisations are worried at the millions of people across the region who remain in areas inaccessible due to insecurity.
“Violence in the Sahel is not only fueling the food crisis, in many places it is instigating one,” said Patrick Youssef, Africa Director for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
He added, “The situation is critical, and the lean period could spell catastrophe if a concerted effort is not made to assist the millions of people affected.”
More than 80 percent of the people in the Sahel rely on agriculture to survive.
Farming has become impossible as people flee.
Violence and conflict have also disrupted pastoralism or nomadism organized around the migration of livestock.
Together with the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the ICRC is scaling up its response across the region to assist the most vulnerable.
“While it is imperative to respond to this crisis, simply thinking in terms of emergency will keep people reliant on assistance and the cycle of suffering will repeat itself,” Youssef said.
– CAJ News