In the Sahel region of West Africa, we are confronted with one of the world’s most challenging humanitarian environments. A series of crises in recent years has led to a steady deterioration in political, economic and social stability in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, as well as Chad and Mauritania. Widespread violence by armed groups, which has targeted civilians and public infrastructure including schools and hospitals, has increased political and social tension.
In addition to the hardships posed by COVID-19, the region has also struggled with a series of climate-related hazards, including an increase in the frequency and intensity of drought. Insufficient rainfall and instability led to failed harvests in 2017 and 2018, causing spikes in the prices of staple cereals and leaving up to 2.5 million across the region without enough food to meet their daily needs.