Serious food crisis hits closer to home, Gambia seeks aid
Serious food crisis appears to be coming closer to home in the West African sub-region, with Gambia asking for aid, while Oxfam calls for urgent action to stop the Sahel drought.
The failure of 70% of crops in this tiny state during last year’s farming season, has prompted led Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh to summon his cabinet to an “emergency meeting” on Monday, March 12, 2012.
Jammeh is quoted by the Gambian Daily Observer newspaper as saying, that the upcoming meeting would address the imminent food crisis or shortage, among other things.
According to the country’s Agriculture Ministry, the poor harvests of rice, groundnuts, millets, maize and sorghum had left villages with just two months of food supplies This is a drop from the usual 4-6 months, at the end of the 2011 harvest.
It said the government could not match the needs to tackle the current food crisis and prepare farmers for the 2012 farming season, appealing for $23 million in seeds, fertilizers and food aid.
The Gambian government’s acknowledgement that there is a food emergency comes as international aid agencies have been ringing alarm bells of the threat to the Sahel region.
One of them, Oxfam on Thursday called for urgent action to stop drought in the Sahel region of West Africa, which is turning into a humanitarian disaster affecting 13 million people.
Oxfam said the international community waited too long to respond to famine in East Africa last year.
The aid agency has meanwhile launched a $36 million emergency appeal to help reach more than a million of the most vulnerable.Tweet