FAO steps up aid to Sahel pastoralists

FAO steps up aid to Sahel pastoralists

21/04/2010

FAO is stepping up aid to herders and pastoralists in Niger and Chad amid a growing food crisis caused by last year’s poor rains that have resulted in a steep decline in agricultural production and dried out livestock pastures.

An estimated 9.8 million people are now vulnerable to severe hunger in the two countries, with thousands more under threat in the north of Burkina Faso and northeast Mali. UN and government surveys in most of the east Sahelian countries indicate a prevalence of global acute malnutrition higher than 16 percent. These rates exceed the World Health Organization (WHO) critical threshold.

In addition, food prices remain high, making it even harder for poor farmers and pastoralists to buy food.