Eleven major international organizations are sending an alert: West African countries are being hit by the worst food crisis in a decade. 27 million people are going hungry and according to these humanitarian groups, 11 million more are at risk if nothing is done by this June.
"This is 40 percent more than the number we had last year at the same time, at the same period and this is four times more than the numbers we used to see ten years ago, says Assalama Dawalack Sidi, Oxfam, regional director for West and Central Africa, so this is why we really want to call on donors' attention, on governments' attention because we know that there are so many other crises here and there but this crisis do deserve to be visible".
Their report says drought and worsening floods have reduced the food sources as well as regional conflicts and the war in Ukraine.
"Six out of the 12 countries where Oxfam operates in West Africa import their wheat from Ukraine or Russia, and because of this crisis in Ukraine this is no more possible. And if they cannot import wheat, that means it is creating a shortage in the food available in the countries and therefore increasing the prices and making it very difficult for people to afford food", explains Assalama Dawalack Sidi.
This appeal was made just before a virtual conference on the food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel and Lake Chad between the European Union, the Sahel and West Africa Club, and the Global Network Against Food Crises.