There has been lots of discussion (again) in the last few months lamenting the failure of the international community/NGOs/everyone to react to the clear early warning signals of the most recent famine in the Horn of Africa. This great (and depressing) HPN paper explores in more detail some of the reasons why good early warning information never seems to translate into early enough action in the region (and possibly more generally).
FAO/GIEWS reports that the Sahel Food Crisis Prevention Network is warning that urgent action is needed to prevent further deterioration of already precarious food security situations in Chad, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal and the Gambia. Good (and expensive) early warning is meaningless without early action. The lean season in Sahel/West Africa will begin soon, probably sooner than usual, putting many, many lives and livelihoods at risk yet again. The UN also points out, in this article (h/t Humanosphere), that early action costs less in money and lives.