More than 10.5m people at risk of hunger in northern Africa

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by Hadiza Mohammed

Berlin, May 16,2022 More than 10.5m people in the Sahel region of Africa are at risk of hunger in the coming months, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has warned.

A so-called green famine, when stores of food have been used up in winter and spring, but the next harvest is not yet ripe, is being exacerbated through conflicts and the associated waves of refugees, according to the ICRC.

At least 2 million are currently displaced in the West African countries of Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania.

The situation is most precarious in Burkina Faso, where 1.8 million people, a tenth of the country’s population, have been forced to flee their homes.

The country is regularly the site of Islamist terror attacks.

Humanitarian organizations often struggle to reach those most in need.

The Sahel region in general is particularly affected by climate change, with one of the worst droughts in decades decimating crop yields.

“In some places in Burkina Faso, people wait in line for 72 hours to access boreholes.

Their lives are completely revolving around reaching water.

Should the situation deteriorate further, we are facing the real possibility of people and animals dying of thirst,” said ICRC Africa Director Patrick Youssef.