Hungersnød venter forude i Sahel området

Forfatter billede

Folk fra Sahel området er vant til at leve af få ressourcer. Men katastrofer i 2011 såsom krigen i Libyen og voksende fødevarepriser er tæt på at kaste 18,7 millioner mennesker ud i hungersnød og 1,1 mio. er i risiko for underernæring

DAKAR, 24. oktober, 2012 (IRIN):The situation catalysed the largest humanitarian response the region has ever seen and it is widely agreed that this helped avert a large-scale disaster. As Martin Dawes, West Africa media head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), put it: “The greatest success is that the severest form of African clichés was avoided, based on timely intervention.”

IRIN spoke to aid agencies, donors and Sahel experts to find out where the crisis response worked better this year.*

Early warning worked

Donors and agencies had been “stung” by criticisms of their late response to the Horn of Africa drought in July 2011, spurring them to respond earlier and more quickly in the Sahel three months later, said Peter Gubbels with NGO Groundswell International and co-author of Escaping the Hunger Cycle: Pathways to Resilience in the Sahel. “They avoided the worst and took early action,” said Gubbels.

Early warning reports came out in October in some places; before December national governments (other than Senegal and Gambia) had recognized the early warning signals and reacted to them; and response started to scale up from January onwards.

Data on who was in need and how, is much more accurate now that governments and aid agencies across the Sahel systematically carry out SMART surveys (a methodology that gives an accurate assessment of the severity of a crisis by analysing the nutritional status of infants, and population mortality rates) every lean season; and have taken on household economy analysis (HEA) which gives a fuller, more nuanced picture of how vulnerable families are thrown into crisis.

“This is a major improvement on how to identify vulnerability and greatest need,” said Gubbels. HEAs in Burkina Faso for instance, identified food-insecure households in areas untouched by drought.

More money sooner

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