30 million people across West Africa will not get enough food to eat this month, with children and people with disabilities most vulnerable.
But despite the widespread crisis, western media has failed to report on the issue and many Australians are unaware that millions are going to bed hungry.
Toby Lanzer, a government worker in the Sahel region, states in a UN report that the situation is dire, with many countries in this region already unstable and impacted by extreme poverty and violence.
“Poverty affects one in every two people, making the Sahel region one of the poorest in the world,” he said.
“One in five children under the age of five suffers from acute malnutrition. [The issues are compounded by] the lack of economic opportunities, particularly for youth, combined with a weak basic service provision and limited social safety nets.”
Violence and displacement worsening starvation
He said Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger and Nigeria also face prevalent violence – a driving factor displacing people from their homelands.
“This prolonged displacement also increases the pressure on the limited resources. 4.9 million people have been forced to flee their homes to escape conflict.”
The region is also subject to harsh weather conditions including frequent drought and flooding, which damages crops, causes failing harvests and affects the ability of people to sustainably farm food.
CBM is taking action
In the midst of this crisis, CBM is delivering humanitarian relief with a focus on ending need in a sustainable way for the long term.
In a crisis such as this, people with disabilities are often disproportionately impacted and face a tougher struggle to access basic support. CBM works particularly with this most marginalised of groups and takes a long term view to ensure their quality of life is improved – not just in the face of a crisis but throughout their lives.
Find out more about the work CBM is doing to assist people in the West Africa food crisis.