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WFP to provide emergency food for a million people

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has approved a US $23-million emergency food aid programme for people facing severe food shortages in Cape Verde, The Gambia, Mauritania and Senegal. The six-month operation will provide 40,000 mt of food to more than one million people living in areas affected by drought and consecutive below-average harvests, according to a WFP press release issued yesterday. “During the last 10 years, people in these areas have been subjected to declining agricultural production, high exposure to drought risk, three consecutive poor harvests and reduced income from cash crops,” said Jamie Wickens, WFP Regional Manager for the Sahel region. “Our aim is to use targeted distribution of relief supplies in acute food deficit areas to assure access to food to needy people during the lean season,” Wickens said. “This operation will enable us to intervene at the early stages of a food crisis and prevent vulnerable populations from resorting to the sale or the consumption of their productive assets, especially livestock and seeds.” Much of Cape Verde, The Gambia, Mauritania and Senegal is arid and climatic conditions vary greatly from year to year. Natural disasters such as drought and locusts often damage agricultural production in the region, according to WFP, which recalled in its release that major droughts struck the Sahel in 1973-1974 and 1984-85, affecting 8.4 million and 11.9 million people respectively.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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