Talking about Africa's Sahel Food Crisis

Over the next couple weeks, Lutheran World Relief will join InterAction (an umbrella organization made up of 190 member organizations around the world) in a series of discussions about the growing food crisis in Africa's Sahel region.

By the Numbers:

Number of people facing food insecurity: 10.4 million

Children at risk of severe malnutrition: 1,000,000

Number of refugees from Mali: >88,000

We are excited about the opportunity to add our voice to this necessary conversation. We have written here before about this crisis and our response, but often in slow-onset crises like this, it can be difficult to sustain people's attention. Even though the crisis affects millions of people, the media coverage is sparse. So we are thankful that the Huffington Post is providing a larger platform for multiple voices to be heard.

Help us raise awareness of this crisis.

There are numerous things that you can do to help the people of West Africa. There are immediate needs for food and employment, as well as longer-term needs for sustainable agriculture and development. You can help meet both needs by doing the following:

Learn about the Sahel. Read the Huffington Post series over the next couple weeks and join the discussion. Leave comments and ask questions of the various organizations who are working on the ground. Here are a few articles to get you started:

Telling the Sahel Story Beyond the Negative Headlines

Typically, the patterned coverage about Africa includes grim statistics about starving children coupled with archetypical images of sullen young faces and swollen bellies.

But as Africa's Sahel region braces for a humanitarian crisis — amid drought, war, a food shortage and government corruption — we're not going to focus on painting that dire portrait across this sub-Saharan swath. Continue Reading…

What the Sahel Needs

"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for life." So goes the parable that development workers the world over have repeated for the past half century. As Mali and the wider Sahel region are engulfed in yet another drought, yet another hunger season, the "teach a man to fish" saying is once again being trotted out. Continue Reading…

Learn about LWR's Response. LWR offices in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger are working to address both immediate needs and promote long-term sustainable agriculture. LWR is implementing its Resilience Plus model, aimed at:

  • providing for immediate food needs,
  • improving water and soil conservation structures, and
  • promoting a sustainable response that will improve agricultural yields for farmers.

Spread the Word. Share these stories and facts. On Twitter, use the hashtag #ImpactSahel and pass on the stories to you followers. Post the stories on Facebook and tell your friends why you care about the Sahel.

LWR is working day in and day out to provide immediate relief and help people in the region become more resilient to future crises. As LWR continues to work in the Sahel, a gift to the West Africa Drought and Food Crisis fund will allow us to respond to both immediate and long-term needs.

LWR accepts gifts by phone at 800.597.5972, online at or by mailing a check or money order to:

Lutheran World Relief
P.O. Box 17061
Baltimore, MD 21297-1061

Your gifts will be used to respond to the West Africa Drought and Food Crisis until needs there are met. Gifts received after that time will be used where needs are greatest. Thank you for your compassion. Please give generously.