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Sahel Food Crisis 2012: Drawing water from a well in the community of Natriguel, Mauritania

Fari Awade drawing water from a well in the community of Natriguel. Lack of rain has dried up the few wells.


Low rainfall and water levels, poor harvests and lack of pasture, high food prices and a drop in remittances from migrants combined to push many areas in West Africa toward a serious food crisis in 2012.


In Mauritania, Oxfam has been working closely with some of the poorest families mainly around the Gorgol and Brakhna regions.


Our work is largely supporting pastoralist communities with activities such as food for cattle, cash transfers, the rehabilitation of wells and water and sanitation programs. We have also started a ‘co-op’ vegetable gardens program for 1,300 women by pumping water from a river.


Oxfam has provided urgently needed assistance to over 1 million people throughout the year 2012 across Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.


While an early response to the coming crisis is crucial to protect people in 2012, preventing future crises will require action to address the root causes and provide longer-term support for the poorest people in a region where 300,000 children die from malnutrition-related diseases in a ‘non-crisis’ year.


Read more about Oxfam's response to the Sahel 2012 food crisis:


Oxfam's report:


Photo: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam

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Taken on April 13, 2012