22 May 2012
The British Red Cross is sending a further £120,000 from its Disaster Fund to support the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s work in west Africa. The funds will be split evenly between projects in Senegal and Burkina Faso.
Thiombiano L’Oudalan, 71, lives in Burkina Faso. He said: “Last year the situation was bad but it has never been as bad as this year. First was the drought and then the locusts came and ate everything left on the fields.
“For a while during this drought, we have relied on selling our livestock at the local market – we hardly have any animals left anymore. The price of food at markets has risen dramatically by two or three-fold in certain circumstances. We are in grave danger and we do not know what to do.”
Over 15.6 million people in the Sahel region are facing severe food shortages, with 739,000 people in Senegal and over two million people in Burkina Faso likely to be affected this year. Thousands of children under five will need treatment for acute malnutrition – around 100,000 in Burkina Faso and 20,000 in Senegal.
Working for a better future
The Red Cross is working in Senegal and Burkina Faso to prevent the situation deteriorating and increase communities’ ability to cope with future disasters. Activities include:
• giving food and fodder vouchers, food rations and cash to affected households
• paying vulnerable people to work on improving the environment and reducing the impact of future disasters
• giving people improved seed in advance of the next planting season
• supporting farming, creating cereal banks and running communal gardens
• screening breastfeeding women and children for malnutrition and referring them to further care when necessary
• educating people about hygiene and how to manage their scarce food supplies.
In total, the British Red Cross has sent over £337,000 of appeal funds and Disaster Fund donations to support work across the region since March 2012.
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Read more about Thiombiano