Countries like Mali in the Sahel belt in Africa are suffering from bigger and bigger food crises with increasing frequency. The reasons are complex but include political insecurity (especially in Northern Mali), drought, migration of livestock from areas affected by drought into areas less affected and high grain prices resulting it less planting of new crops. Severe malnutrition affects approximately 175,000 children under the age of five in Mali and this could reach 220,000 by the end of 2012. As always, thoughtful help is needed. Early smaller scale assistance helping people to survive in place can reduce large scale migration and reduce escalation of the problem (for example from arriving life-stock pushing grain prices higher and preventing crops being planted). Starting early will help to reduce the scale of impending Emergency Relief.
At present more than 3.5 million people in Mali are affected, including 1.2 million in the Kayes region, nearly half of the region’s population. On a smaller scale around fifteen thousand people are affected in Khouloum, and twice this number in Kita in the region of Kayes.
The Mopti region has "high" prevalence of severe malnutrition (between 10% and 15%), while Kayes's rate of over 15% is classified as the threshold of emergency. Our analysis shows that fundamentally those most at risk are simply too poor to cope. SOS Children is therefore providing emergency food for the short term famine and are working to address poverty in targeted communities, to try to stop the situation becoming a disaster on a huge scale.
We are focusing on malnutrition among children 6 to 59 months, pregnant and nursing mothers within targeted areas. We will help 2000 children under five and 7400 older children and adults. Those helped are spread between the municipalities of Kita and Khouloum in the Kayes region and that of Socoura in Mopti. Over a period of six months, the overall project spend on this specific area will be around £200,000.
Africa and Sahel drought help
Are you able to help our work in Africa? There are different ways to help listed on our main Sahel Emergency page or you could make a contribution of a pound a week to our "Pound for Africa" appeal and help us to build a stronger society for Africa's children.