In the Sahel region of West Africa, a shameful 10 million people are facing extreme hunger. Mali, Chad, Niger, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Senegal are all Sahel countries – Caritas works in every one of them.
A series of devastating droughts, floods and plagues of pests like locusts have pushed the people of the Sahel to the brink. Many are trying to exist on a mere 50 cents a day – they are the poorest of the poor. Now competition for the basics of life like food, grazing and firewood is becoming even more intense.
Raising funds to help them is also harder than ever as the world’s attention is diverted elsewhere and there is no sign of an end to the emergency in the Sahel. But Caritas stays on when others leave.
In partnership with other humanitarian organisations, Caritas has run therapeutic feeding and medical assistance programmes. It distributes emergency food rations and vouchers as well as energy-saving stoves to help preserve trees in this heavily deforested region.
Caritas also helps build resilience against the hardships by establishing community granaries to help people through the lean season. It provides training and drought resistance seeds for farmers and is working to strengthen emergency preparedness measures in the likelihood of more extreme weather.