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Nearly 25 million food insecure in Sahel
29 October 2014 (IRIN ), Food security and malnutrition rates across the Sahel are deteriorating, due in large part to ongoing conflict and instability in the Central African Republic (CAR), northern Mali, and northeast Nigeria, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Trading away West Africa’s hunger
20 March 2014 (IRIN ), Severe food shortages in the Sahel and West Africa are often the result of droughts and poor harvests. But inefficient intra-regional trade also places significant strain on food availability, exacerbating hunger.
Emerging from crisis, Mali braces for hunger
3 March 2014 (IRIN ), As Mali slowly emerges from its 2012 political crisis and the Islamist insurgency in the north, the new government and its partners are focusing on long-term development. But aid groups warn that there are humanitarian needs that must be addressed immediately, particularly ensuring more food aid gets to extremely vulnerable communities in the north.
UN shifts approach to help Sahel’s 20 million hungry
3 February 2014 (IRIN ), Over 20 million people in the Sahel will need humanitarian assistance in 2014, up 8.7 million over the number of people in need in 2013, estimates the UN, which launched an ambitious three-year Sahel strategy today.
Looking beyond food for causes of Cameroon’s malnutrition
18 December 2013 (IRIN ), Mairam Umaru’s year-old son had suffered vomiting and fever on and off for a month before she sought medical help. “I thought it was my milk affecting him, or that he was teething,” said the 17-year-old mother at the referral hospital in Maroua, the capital of Cameroon’s Far North Region, where her son was being treated for severe acute malnutrition and other complications.
What does the future hold for pastoralists in the Sahel?
1 November 2013 (IRIN ), Harsher droughts and rising numbers of conflicts with farmers are threatening the future of pastoralism in the Sahel, but experts say that integrating crop and livestock systems can help sustain the livelihoods of herders and farmers.
Meningitis vaccine a "stunning" success
12 September 2013 (IRIN ), A new meningitis vaccine being rolled out in Chad has resulted in an astonishing 94 percent drop in the incidence of all types of the disease, according to a study being published this week in the Lancet.
Curbing deadly bovine disease faces hurdles in Sahel
8 August 2013 (IRIN ), Long eradicated in developed countries, contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) - a highly infectious respiratory disease - remains a huge threat to cattle production in the Sahel and West Africa, where cross-border migration by pastoralists is customary.
Analysis: Short-term fixes - the bane of West African agriculture
5 July 2013 (IRIN ), Boosting agricultural productivity in the Sahel region is crucial to reduce chronic food insecurity, improve families' nutrition, promote economic growth and help build people's resilience, say experts, but governments still under-fund the sector, as do international donors who favour short-term fixes.
Humanitarian needs rise in Sahel
4 July 2013 (IRIN ), Humanitarian agencies have revised upwards their appeal to help Sahelians affected by hunger, malnutrition, impoverishment and conflict to US$1.7 billion, said UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel Robert Piper.
UN peacekeepers take over in Mali
1 July 2013 (IRIN ), UN peacekeepers today took over the role of African troops in helping to stabilize and protect northern Mali, with a plan to build up to 12,640 troops - most of them African - by the end of the year. Though Islamist groups took a severe battering by French troops, which have secured most of the north since January, they continue to attempt suicide attacks, many of them centred around the city of Gao. The region of Kidal, meanwhile, remains under the control of the Tuareg group the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA).
Analysis: Emergency cash versus social protection in West Africa
26 June 2013 (IRIN ), Aid agency cash and voucher transfers in emergencies have increased significantly in recent years. The World Food Programme (WFP), for example, has tripled its distributions over the past three years.
Linking early warning to early action in the Sahel
18 June 2013 (IRIN ), While aid agencies agree that early warning systems offer the chance to mitigate humanitarian crises, difficulty in funding pre-emptive measures and government sensitivities in admitting a looming disaster continue to hamper early action.
Understanding resilience
4 March 2013 (IRIN ), No one working in the aid community in recent years could have avoided the buzzword “resilience” - but what does the term mean practically, and how has it helped shape action on the ground?
Getting food aid right
1 March 2013 (IRIN ), Despite early warning information about the Horn of Africa’s impending drought crisis in 2011, humanitarian responses were slow to mobilize, leading to tens of thousands of deaths in the region and famine in parts of Somalia.
Why the Sahel needs $1.6 billion again this year
19 February 2013 (IRIN ), The 2013 Sahel Regional Strategy calls for US$1.66 billion to help meet humanitarian needs and build up resilience among vulnerable groups - an identical figure to the 2012 crisis appeal - even though aid agencies estimate the number of Sahelians at risk of going hungry this year has dropped 44 percent to 10.3 million. IRIN spoke to aid agency representatives to find out why the ask has remained constant.
Don’t underestimate Mauritania needs, say aid agencies
6 February 2013 (IRIN ), Despite a decent harvest and pasture coverage for livestock, aid agencies say they and donors must not underestimate vulnerability in Mauritania, having admitted they seriously underestimated the extent of the crisis in 2012 due to inadequate assessment systems and insufficient alarm calls to donors to respond.
Food insecurity the next crisis for northern Mali
23 January 2013 (IRIN ), Many more northern Malians are likely to face severe food shortages in the coming days and weeks if markets remain blocked by border and road closures, and humanitarian access remains limited, warn food security agencies.
Mauritania’s farmers struggle to pull out of debt trap
21 January 2013 (IRIN ), Rains were decent across much of Mauritania in 2012 leading to hopes of a reasonable harvest. However, even in a good year farmers can produce a maximum five-month cereal supply - most small farmers produce much less - and most face 2013 with accumulated debts from previous years following decades of cyclical crises.
Frustration over Mali government inaction
3 January 2013 (IRIN ), Malians forced to live under strict religious rules since Islamist groups captured the country’s northern region nine months ago, and those who fled south, are frustrated by perceived central government inaction.

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