Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Is Sahel a famine yet?

AFP (via Yahoo h/t @USEmbPretoria) seems to think it is. They call this the region's "third famine in ten years". Which is also inaccurate because the last one never turned into a famine. The last one (2010) was stopped just short of that magic line where a food crisis becomes a famine. The one before that (2005) was a famine, though.

Is this one? 15 million people are malnourished, 1.5 million of them children (UNICEF). Right now. Acting now could still save up to 95 per cent of the children. December's appeal has been less than 50 per cent funded. What's 50 per cent of 95 per cent of 1.5 million children? It's probably too late for the few remaining livestock on which the pastoralists depend, but at least fully funding the appeal now would save some of the people. 

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