International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Food crisis meets conflict in Africa's Sahel

Malian family, Kati
Photo: Peter Biro/IRC

Drought is ravaging the Sahel countries of West and Central Africa.  Poor rains and failed harvests have led to dwindling food stocks and soaring rates of malnutrition, especially among children. Chad and Mali are among the hardest hit.  In Mali, the hunger crisis combined with recent violence is threatening the lives of millions. International Rescue Committee teams are providing emergency aid in eastern Mali and stepping up vital medical and nutrition programs in southwestern Chad.

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Mali hunger crisis in pictures

  • Mali, part of Sahel crisis, has widespread food shortage, hunger, malnutrition
  • This health center near Bamako, Mali treats children suffering from malnutrition
  • A malnourished girl is nursed back to health; the IRC fights hunger in Mali
  • A mother feeds her baby in an International Rescue Committee clinic in Mali
  • Medical workers at the clinic in Kati, Mali test if a small boy is malnourished
  • IRC treats malnourished children; local health posts monitor their progress
  • IRC theatre group educates crowd how to prevent, recognize malnutrition in Mali
  • Boy with acute severe malnutrition rushed to IRC health clinic for treatment
  • Pumping water in Mali
  • This girl fled with family to Bamako from Gao to find safety, food

In Mali, political turmoil has exacerbated a food crisis brought on by a severe drought that has affected much of the Sahel region of West Africa. The crisis has displaced over 300,000 people and has had a devastating impact on children who are suffering from growing malnutrition.


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How We Help

  • IRC emergency experts have set up health, nutrition, water and sanitation programs in eastern Mali, which has been hard-hit by drought and is also hosting populations displaced by fighting in the north.
  • In the drought -stricken Bahr El Gazal region of Chad, the IRC is scaling up our emergency medical and nutrition programs
  • The IRC is also providing free health care for children, pregnant women and other vulnerable groups in Bahr El Gazal.  
September 26, 2013 | Blog
The IRC has released a special report on our emergency relief efforts around the world. The 24-page report includes stories on the IRC’s emergency response to the crisis in Syria and the Middle East, and in Mali, Somalia, Congo, South Sudan and elsewhere.