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Senegal: WFP intervenes to prevent hunger amid Sahel food crisis

A beneficiary getting a bag of rice from WFP as boss Breuer (right) looks onA beneficiary getting a bag of rice from WFP as boss Breuer (right) looks on (Photo: Enoh Ndri/WADR)
April 30, 2012

The consequences of the serious food crisis in the Sahel region have begun to be felt in Senegal.

Some 800,000 people are being threatened by growing food insecurity.

The UN World Food Program (WFP) has launched its food distribution operation in the country, as part of efforts to address the food insecurity problem threatening 13 out of Senegal’s 14 regions.

“The reason for that was that the rainy season last year started very late, it ended very early and you had very long pauses in between,” WFP Resident Representative in Senegal Ingeborg Maria Breuer told West Africa Democracy Radio (WADR) in Casamance, Senegal.

The food distribution started last weekend in the southern Casamance region, where life for ordinary Senegalese has been made more difficult by a nearly 30-year-old insurgency by MFDC separatist rebels.

WADR’s Enoh Ndri traveled with the WFP relief team that went up to the provincial capital, Ziguinchor.

Back in the studio, he compiled this report, starting with the voice of a beneficiary.

Click audio below to listen

Senegal’s new government of President Macky Sall has said it was beginning a big campaign to boost agriculture production, pumping in tens of billions of CFA Francs.

With thousands of Senegalese exposed to serious food insecurity, the country’s Agriculture Minister Benoit Sambou said this is unacceptable.

Speaking during the WFP food distribution launch in Casamance, Sambou told the WFP that there was a need for better transparency in the distribution of seeds and fertilizers.

Click audio below to listen


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