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Sahel and West Africa facing alarming levels of food and nutritional insecurity

Burkina Faso
+ 15
Action Against Hunger
+ 4
Date de publication


In the Sahel and West Africa, the results of the latest analyses of the Cadre Harmonisé (October-November 2020) have shown that around 16,7 million people are currently in acute food insecurity (CH | IPC Ph3-5) and that, if effective interventions are not undertaken quickly, around 23,61 million people will be so during the next lean season 2021 (June-August).

Inter-annual comparisons must be nuanced because, on the one hand, these are situational analyses of acute food insecurity dependent on shocks/events and, on the other hand, there are variations in terms of the geographical coverage of the analyses and the type of data available.

However, this situation is unprecedented in terms of the scale of the increase it represents (currently and for the coming lean season), +159% and +126% respectively of people in acute food and nutrition insecurity compared to the five-year average (2015-2020). Over one year, there is an increase of around 80% for the current period (Oct-Dec), and 18% for the hunger gap (June-August). This is despite a year considered as good in terms of rainfall conditions and agro-pastoral production.

In 2021, the nutritional situation also remains worrying in the West and Central African region. A total of 13,90 million cases of acute malnutrition (AMD) are projected among children under 5 years old, of which about 30% (4,31 million) are cases of severe acute malnutrition (SAM). With regards to the ECOWAS2 countries, as well as Cameroon and Mauritania, 9,66 million GAM cases are expected, of which 3,08 million are severe acute malnutrition cases (SAM), showing an increase of +7% compared to the five-year average (2015-2019).