Further to our appeal for donations this summer in response to the Hunger Crisis in sub-Saharan Africa, Development and Peace is using funds doubled by the Government of Canada to support two new projects in Mali and Niger.
As a member of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Development and Peace — Caritas Canada launched an appeal for donations this summer under the Humanitarian Coalition’s Hunger Crisis appeal for sub-Saharan Africa. Owing to a combination of factors—including droughts, extreme temperatures, political instability, local armed conflicts, and food and fertilizer shortages and price rises caused by the war in Ukraine—millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa are facing acute food insecurity at emergency and catastrophe levels.
Thanks to the Government of Canada’s $5-million matching fund, Development and Peace supporters’ generous donations totalling over $155,000 were doubled—for a grand total of over $310,000!
In Somalia, which is at risk of famine, our partner Trócaire was already on the ground before the start of the appeal, providing live-saving treatment for severe and moderate acute malnutrition to children under five and pregnant and lactating women. In addition, we have just allocated $200,000 of our matched Hunger Crisis appeal funds to our Caritas partners in Mali and Niger ($100,000 to each) to help them respond to this severe and complex crisis.
Two new projects in the Sahel
In Mali, these funds will be used over the next few months to meet the food and agricultural production needs of around 2,550 households (24,000 people) in the Koulikoro, Koutiala and Mopti regions. Priority will be given to various specific groups, including women heads of household. Caritas Mali will also engage in awareness-raising activities on social cohesion and peace-building, as well as on the effects of climate change and mitigation measures.
In Niger, our Hunger Crisis appeal funds will be used over the next few months to improve the living conditions of some of the most vulnerable people in the Diffa, Maradi and Tillabéri regions. Caritas Niger will provide, among other things, agricultural assistance to around 3780 producer households (26,460 people) and unconditional cash transfers to 1665 households (11,665 people). With this cash, the beneficiaries will be able to buy what they need in local markets, which will protect them from unhealthy and degrading survival practices such as begging and prostitution.
Long-term local solutions
As Pope Francis noted in his message to the 2021 UN Food System Pre-Summit:
We produce enough food for all people, but many go without their daily bread. This “constitutes a genuine scandal”, an offence that violates basic human rights. Therefore, it is everyone’s duty to eliminate this injustice through concrete actions and good practices, and through bold local and international policies. — Pope Francis, 2021
In addition to our emergency response to the Hunger Crisis, Development and Peace is implementing food security and sovereignty projects in the farming and food processing sectors in sub-Saharan Africa. For example, in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, our SANC2S project activities include training peasant farmers on composting and organic fertilizer usage, fostering better local-level resource management and developing better food security policies. In Madagascar, our partner has worked hand in hand with residents to transform one of the most vulnerable neighbourhoods of the national capital region into an ecological village, and to implement 51 climate change adaption microprojects.
In such ways, Development and Peace is contributing to the development of long-term local solutions to these repeated food crises.
While the Government of Canada matching fund ended July 17, 2022, we are still taking donations for these and related food crisis projects. Thank you for your support!