Wednesday, June 13, 2012

D&P seeks to feed needy in heart of West Africa

Food crisis in Sahel region expected until September
A girl carries water from a well in the village of Synthiane Ndiakri, Mauritania, June 1. U.N. agencies estimate that 18 million people in West Africa's Sahel region are at risk of hunger because of drought, conflict and rising food prices. Susana Vera / CNS.
Alistair Burns reports about the efforts of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace to raise awareness of a potential food crisis in West Africa:
Imagine if two months from now, half the population of Canada, or 18 million citizens, were starving to death. For the impoverished peoples of West Africa, that horrible nightmare could soon become the stark reality. 
"It's a huge chance for disaster this summer," said Guy Desaulniers, emergency relief officer for the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP). "Last year's harvest was poor, the start of the rainy season turned into a prolonged drought, and many of these countries are arid regions. The chance for the next harvest isn't until September." 
He warned "a pre-emptive food strike" has to start in June. Unless major media organizations in North America and Europe start broadcasting the immense need for financial aid from the First World, then the circumstances will quickly spiral out of control in countries such as Burkina Faso, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad, northern Nigeria, and northern Cameroon, he added.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

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