Project information

West Africa Food Crisis

Waiting is not an option. 13 million people in West Africa are facing serious food shortages. We must act now to stop this crisis becoming a catastrophe. Early action prevents needless deaths and protects livelihoods.

March 2012 - December 2012

Charity information: Oxfam

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  • Need


    Malnutrition rates across West Africa are hovering between 10% and 15%, and in some areas have risen beyond the emergency threshold level of 15%. More than one million children are at risk of severe malnutrition. In parts of Chad, some villagers are digging up ant hills to gather grain that the ants have stored. Drought, high food prices, severe poverty and regional conflict are all contributory factors.


    Oxfam is scaling up its existing programmes across the region, aiming to reach 1 million people during the next 6 months. Working with local communities, we will provide immediate relief, help address the longer-term threats to livelihoods, and lobby governments and other organisations to provide aid.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To protect livelihoods and build the resilience of 1 million people across the Sahel region.


    » Distributing cash & food. Organising public health activities, nutrition awareness programmes to combat malnutrition & cash for work projects.
    » Rehabilitating/building water sources for people & animals. Rehabilitating dams & constructing water management and irrigation infrastructures.
    » Supporting vegetable gardens, distributing livestock fodder, building fodder banks & supporting improved seed production.

    The outcome will be: increased access to food & safe water for people, animals & crops. Increased nutrition and hygiene awareness so people don’t contract water-borne diseases.

  • Impact


    We aim to reach 1 million people of the most vulnerable people in the region. Our work will provide immediate relief to help families through the worst of the crisis. We will ensure that people have access to food and clean water to reduce the risk of malnutrition and protect them from water-borne diseases. Our work aims to tackle the underlying causes of the problem to prevent similar crises in the future.


    There is a risk that donors and the media will react too slowly to this crisis, making it difficult to raise the funds we need soon enough to allow us to carry out mitigation work before the peak of the crisis.

    There are security risks in parts of the region which could hamper our programme work and put the safety of our staff in jeopardy. Our strong teams of national staff, and the local organisations we work with, can help us minimise this risk.


    Oxfam regularly updates the West Africa page on its website so that supporters access up-to-date information on the situation and progress that has been made. Six and twelve month reports are available on request.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £23,000,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £23,000,000 Emergency Pays for all humanitarian programme activities.
  • Background


    A major food crisis is forecast to occur in localised areas of the Sahel region which spreads across West Africa through Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.


    Oxfam aims to reach 1 million of the most vulnerable people in the region.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Oxfam’s programmes operate in all the affected countries. We have a lot of experience in the region, and are trusted by local communities to deliver high quality humanitarian relief. Oxfam programmes aim to tackle the root causes of the problems by helping communities to learn to cope with changing weather patterns, thereby reducing the disastrous impact that recurrent disasters can have on these vulnerable people.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Our Supporters

    You can provide us with the vital donations necessary to help us save lives and to ensure the success of our programme.

    Our Programme Staff

    Our staff work tirelessly across the affected regions to protect and save as many vulnerable people as possible.


helps 3 people buy food & essentials for 3 months

At the moment, we're suffering a lot, and I can feel it in my body. When I'm hungry, my heart beats quickly - I feel a great weakness

Adjitti Mahamat