16 million at risk of hunger in Africa’s Sahel despite good harvest – U.N.

Africa - News and Analysis

Reuters

By Misha Hussain

Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:38pm GMT

DAKAR, Dec 10 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Around 16 million people are at risk of hunger across Africa’s Sahel belt next year due to conflicts and rapid population growth despite good harvests and rainfall, a senior U.N. official said on Tuesday.

Violence in northern Nigeria, northern Mali and the Central African Republic, along with high fertility rates have caused food shortages and high food prices across the savannah region. In Niger alone, the fertility rate is 7.6 children per mother.

A global economic downturn and the preoccupation with wars such as that in Syria have made it harder to raise donor funds for Sahel-type humanitarian crises, Robert Piper of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

Latest OCHA figures show that only 58 percent of the required $1.7 billion for 2013 has been met by donors, Piper…

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