A recipe for famine
You know that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when something bad is coming? Preparing for a disaster is not something we like to think about. That sense of dread overcame families living in the Sahel region of Central Africa as they faced sparse crops this harvest. Drought and pests had crept in like thieves and stolen their food, leaving withered fields in their shadow.
These crops were supposed to carry families through the “hunger gap”— the season between harvests when rain is non-existent and nothing grows. Farmers carefully ration food, preserving dried vegetables and grains for the dry months. This year, the “hunger gap” started early and will last longer … and there’s no food.
The UN estimates that 18 million people across the Sahel are facing a hunger crisis. And hunger levels are rising as the hunger gap gets fully underway, peaking July through September.
Malnutrition rates will increase—and children will starve, they tell us. Right now, 1.6 million people in the country of Chad, where we work, are in need of food and assistance.
“Like many other farmers, I am worried because I had invested in this season with the hope of a good harvest to sell and buy other types of food for my family. I can see that the period between this harvest and the next one will be very difficult to handle for my family,” a farmer named Abakal Dgibril told us.
But there is some good news. We can respond now and save lives. This time … we know the crisis is coming. Together we can protect families from famine.
On average, a donation of $70 will help a family suffering in this crisis, providing immediate food to survive the hunger gap, plus begin to plan for next harvest with high yield seeds, farming tools and training to plant drought tolerant crops.
The warning siren has been sounded. We need to act now. Please help families in the Sahel survive this crisis.
Click here to donate.
Help families prepare, and prevent this crisis from worsening
Many of the families we’ve served in refugee camps in Chad over the past few years are resettling in villages along the border with Sudan. This is a good thing. Refugee camps are meant to be temporary places where families can be safe and stabilize. But camps make it hard to move beyond dependence and work toward a better future. These families need a fresh start in a place where there is land to plant crops and communities where children can return to school and learn.
We’re going back to the villages with these families, equipping them with agricultural support, teaching them to save money and start businesses, and preparing them to endure future droughts. But first, they need immediate help to survive this crisis.
Your support will:
- Provide emergency food for families to help prevent this crisis from reaching famine levels. Each family will receive a month’s supply of beans, maize flour, oil, sugar and salt.
- Train families to grow drought-resistant crops for food and income, providing them with high-yield seeds and farming tools like plows, seeders, and donkey carts.
- Help save lives by building wells in villages that lack access to clean water.
- Prepare families for future droughts, and help them establish livelihoods through small business training, loans and savings groups.
Fatima knows crisis. She has lived in Chad since her home and village in Darfur, Sudan, were burned by militia in 2006. The attackers robbed them of everything they owned. It's painful to talk about her past, and she hasn't felt safe or secure ever since. "The things I saw … it's very, very difficult to go back," she said, shaking her head as if trying to shake off the memories.
Her family—including five children—has already survived so much…
Fatima knows trouble is ahead. The fear has returned. This time, it's hunger that threatens her family.
World Concern has been working with Fatima's family, and thousands of others in Chad, to help them rebuild their lives after fleeing the Darfur war. But we need your help to make sure they make it through this new crisis before it worsens into a famine.