Millions of pounds are being transferred, shifted, written off on paper and more in an attempt to save Greece and the Eurozone from economic disaster but what off West Africa?
West Africa's Sahel region is experiencing drought on a phenomenal scale. It puts the lives of more than 13 million people at risk. Now Oxfam is launching an urgent appeal to try and rescue the people of the region. The £23m ($36m) emergency appeal will be aimed at helping one million of the most vulnerable people in the area. This so often tends to be the very young and the very old. For the young they as yet have had no life. For the very old they will have seen this suffering time and time again.
In launching this emergency appeal Oxfam released information that, "Malnutrition rates across Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and northern Senegal are hovering between 10% and 15%, and in some areas have risen beyond the emergency threshold level of 15%. More than one million children in the Sahel region are at risk of severe malnutrition. In parts of Chad, Oxfam says, some villagers are digging up ant hills to gather grain that the ants have stored. Drought, high food prices, severe poverty and regional conflict are causing the crisis"
Refugees from African conflicts such as that in Mali, are adding to the region's problems.Mamadou Biteye, Oxfam Regional Director for West Africa said, "Millions of people are on the threshold of a major crisis..All signs point to a drought becoming a catastrophe if nothing is done soon. The world cannot allow this to happen. A concerted aid effort is needed to stop tens of thousands dying due to international complacency We witnessed last year the situation spiralling out of control in East Africa as the aid community failed to act swiftly. The worst can be avoided and thousands of lives will be saved if we act now. It's that simple."
You can donate at the Oxfam West African appeal here