Despite a good harvest and favourable conditions, the situation across the Sahel remains critical in 2013 mainly owing to the effects of repeated crises in recent years. More than 10 million people, always among the poorest, suffer from food insecurity and more than 1.4 million children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition in the region. The impact of crises in 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2012 still persists and has limited the possibilities of rebuilding the livelihoods of affected families.
In a context of widespread poverty, high population growth, malnutrition, chronic vulnerability and high food prices, recurrent crises have eroded the coping capacity and weakened the livelihoods of already vulnerable people. The rural population in the region are abandoning their small plots of land and turning to work opportunities on large farms. Still they remain dependant on weather conditions and agricultural production.
The food security of the population is likely to worsen during the lean season (June-September) since crops will not be ready for harvest and food stocks will be nearly exhausted. The most vulnerable families will soon be forced to buy food from markets at a time when prices are at the highest. Many of the poorest households may be forced to consume their seeds before planting or sell their assets (livestock, agricultural tools, etc…) in order to meet their food needs.
With the crisis in Mali, many of the people affected are farmers and herders who are temporarily living in refugee camps or with host families in Mali and neighbouring countries (Burkina Faso, Mauritania, the Niger). Other smallholder agropastoralists have found refuge in the southern region of Mali, increasing pressure on local food resources.
FAO’s main lines of intervention are:
- Supporting ceral production for the main agricultural season (May-October 2013): farmers hit by the crisis and who did not receive adequate support during 2012 cannot afford to buy the inputs they need for the upcoming cereal production campaign beginning in May. Read more…
- Supporting domestic animal protection and production: animals, weakened by inadequate feeding, are very vulnerable to diseases and are at high risk of dying. Read more…