Almost 10 million people across West Africa are facing a growing food crisis according to the latest reports from Oxfam and Save the Children.
Erratic rains last year have caused poor food harvests and water shortages, with the situation worsening by the day.
The worst affected country is Niger where over 7 million people are at risk.
In neighbouring Chad over 60% of the population are at risk of going hungry, according to the World Food Programme. Poor harvests have left small farmers particularly at risk as the country enters the summer lean season.
A further estimated 629,000 people are affected in Mali, with parts of Nigeria and Burkina Faso also at risk.
According to Mamadou Biteye, Oxfam’s West Africa Regional Director:
“We are witnessing an unfolding disaster which can be averted if the world acts swiftly. Five years ago the world ignored the warning signs from Niger, failed to act rapidly and lives were lost. The international community cannot make the same mistake and again condemn many children to an early death.”
In response Oxfam and Save the Children have now launched $10m (£6.7m) appeals for the drought-stricken region.
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