Horn, Sahel food crises: A matter of response

    Donor response to food crises in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel should not be which one but “how,” a senior lecturer in development studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies says.

    In an analytical piece in allAfrica.com, Laura Hammond points out that donors were quick to respond to the food crisis in the Sahel region. Perhaps, she says, this is to prevent the crisis from escalating to levels seen in the Horn of Africa. Back then, it took the United Nations’ declaration of famine in the Horn’s two districts before many donors scaled up their assistance.

    But will the speedy donor response to the Sahel mean waning assistance to the Horn, particularly in Somalia, where “2.34 million people are still living in crisis”?

    Hammond says donors shouldn’t be asking which region to help, but rather how to help those affected by food crises. She said in the Horn, creative thinking is needed to get aid into areas where access is limited. In the Sahel, meanwhile, emphasis must be on protecting people’s livelihoods to prevent them from slipping into famine.

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    About the author

    • Jenny Lei Ravelo

      Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.