Funds for the Sahel are needed now, Raúl says
Over 17 million people at risk of hunger
24 May 2012, Brussels, Nyon, Rome - On a visit to drought-stricken Chad, Spanish football star Raúl González added his voice to urgent calls for funding to prevent a full-blown food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa, where over 17 million people are at risk of hunger and more than one million children under five face acute malnutrition.
A combination of drought, chronic poverty, high food prices, displacement and conflict has led to dramatic declines in food production across the Sahel.
In Chad, for example, cereal production dropped to almost half of last year's. And the conflict in neighbouring Libya forced large numbers of expatriate workers to return, further compounding the dire economic situation.