Development and Peace has raised over $1.8 million to help 18 million people affected by a food crisis due to drought in the Sahel region of West Africa.
The organization launched an appeal in early May, as local partner organizations reported that communities were quickly running out of grains from last year’s poor harvest and warned of a growing food crisis.
In August, as the situation worsened, the Government of Canada announced that it would double donations made for the Sahel until September 30th. As of that date, Development and Peace had raised $1.2 million eligible for the matching fund, with donations still being tallied.
“This crisis has not been very present in the media and all humanitarian aid agencies have struggled to bring attention to it. We are very grateful to all those who listened to our call for solidarity and contributed to our appeal. It has made a tremendous impact in the region,” said Michael Casey, Executive Director of Development and Peace.
Development and Peace is currently supporting relief projects in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Chad and Senegal. Projects include food and seed distributions, cash-for-work activities that contribute to community development, subsidized food sales and nutritional programs.
Development and Peace is working in these six countries with local partners of the Caritas Internationalis network, a federation of 165 Catholic development and relief organizations around the world.
The funds collected through the appeal are being supplemented by an additional $5 million response program, jointly organized by Development and Peace and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, to distribute food to 19,500 households in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, making for a response that totals close to $7 million to aid the victims of this disaster.
Development and Peace is continuing to accept donations for its appeal in order to support more relief efforts and contribute towards programs to help rebuild communities and enable people to regain their livelihoods.
Donations to Development and Peace can be made on their website at www.devp.org, by telephone (1 888 664-3387), or by sending a cheque made out to Development and Peace (please indicate West Africa – Hunger Crisis) and sending it to: Development and Peace, 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd. West. 3rd Floor, Montreal QC H3G 1T7.