SENEGAL: Change of direction in hunger response

May 7, 2012

"One day after being sworn in on 2 April, Senegal’s new President Macky Sall reversed months of public denial of the hunger affecting over 800,000 of his people - part of the Sahel-wide crisis affecting 16 million inhabitants - by calling on partners to help the country get food to those in need. UN agencies and NGOs are struggling to raise enough money to get programmes working so they can catch up with the steadily rising number of hungry people...

Though malnutrition is often a taboo subject for leaders, in Senegal the previous authorities were less reluctant to talk about it than the widespread food crisis, said Crespin. Nutrition programmes 'would have been implemented anyway', said ECHO’s Eijkenaar, and ongoing work such as a USAID programme to encourage families to diversify their diets continues over the long term. Action Against Hunger, a Spanish organization, for example, started taking care of malnutrition cases in Matam at the beginning of April."