World Vision has scaled up its emergency responses to both a food crisis threatening millions of lives in West Africa and a humanitarian emergency in South Sudan’s border states.
Around 20 million people across the Sahel region in West Africa are at risk of a food crisis, with the situation predicted to worsen between March and August. In the countries where World Vision works – including Niger, Mali, Chad, Mauritania and Senegal – an estimated 13 million people are at risk. Niger is the most affected country with 9 million people (almost 60% of the population) facing food shortage risks due to a disastrous harvest season.
World Vision’s efforts come as the Australian Government announced a $10 million grant to the World Food Programme and other UN partners to address the escalating crisis.
“Following the devastating impact of famine in East Africa last year, Australia and other parts of the world are heeding the warning signs coming out of West Africa,” World Vision Australia chief executive Tim Costello said. “We hope that by acting early we may prevent the worst effects of drought and save many thousands of lives.”
World Vision, in partnership with the UN’s World Food Programme, is providing food to affected communities, as well as scaling up medium-to-long term responses. They include Disaster Risk Reduction programs such as vegetable gardening, cereal banking and community-based malnutrition programs.
In addition, World Vision is scaling up its emergency relief efforts in South Sudan to help around 300,000 people with food, water and other supplies.
Around three million people in the world’s newest nation are facing food shortages this year, following poor harvests, increased insecurity and ongoing conflict. In the areas of Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile, World Vision is assisting communities with water and sanitation, education, food and relief items.
To donate to World Vision Australia’s Emergency & Preparedness Fund, call 13 32 40 or go to worldvision.com.au.
To speak to an emergency and humanitarian expert, please call Chloe Adams on 0427 413 816.