Fighting Turns Food Crisis Into Humanitarian Catastrophe: What We Can Do
The text below is an excerpt from a blog post that is part of a series organized by The Huffington Post and the NGO alliance InterAction to call attention to the crisis in the Sahel, a region in sub-Saharan Africa where more than 18 million people face starvation and 1.1 million children under the age of 5 are at risk of dying from acute malnutrition. Click here to read more of HuffPost Impact's coverage of the Sahel and here to find out what InterAction members and others are doing in the Sahel.
Add conflict to food crisis and what do you get? A catastrophic food crisis. This is the heartbreaking reality for hundreds of thousands of Malian nationals. By March, 75,000 Malianshad fled the violence in the wake of the nation's coup d'état. That number has since quadrupled. With virtually no food stocks available, more than 300,000 people have left the northern part of the country in search of food and safety. More than 150,000 of them have become internally displaced, seeking to survive in other parts of the country. Another 170,000 have fled the country altogether, taking on refugee status in neighboring Sahel nations like Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mauritania.
The problem with this, of course, is that food is just as scarce in Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mauritania. "The dramatic rise of refugees from Mali is worsening the food situation in the entire Sahel," said Rafael de Prado, Action Against Hunger Desk Officer. "This is a crisis upon a crisis."