Thursday, October 24, 2013

New strategies needed to cope with crises in Sahel via Voice of America: The United Nations says it is working on an integrated strategy to deal with the recurring crises in Africa's Sahel region. The U.N. says new approaches are needed to make vulnerable people in the nine Sahelian countries able to cope with the humanitarian emergencies that keep them in poverty and dependent on the international community for aid.

In an unusual maneuver, the U.N. Security Council has asked the world body to draw up a plan to stop the Sahel lurching from one crisis to another. The council says it wants the U.N. to produce an integrated plan that looks at the humanitarian, political, security and developmental issues that are part of the recurring crises to hit the region.

Robert Piper, U.N. assistant secretary-general and regional humanitarian coordinator for the Sahel, says, to get this project underway, the U.N. secretary-general, along with the president of the World Bank and senior officials from the African Union and other organizations, will visit the region next month. The aim, he says, is to bring the different pieces of this effort together.

Piper says tens of millions of people in the Sahel suffer from erratic rainfall and poor harvests. He says it is becoming increasingly more difficult and certainly unproductive for business to continue as usual.

"The chronic needs across the region sadly are expected to continue to a certain extent. We cannot yet reverse these figures overnight. What we are seeing is very vulnerable households trying to recover from last year's drought, which came only two years after the previous one. So, these crises are getting closer and closer together, giving families less and less time to try and recover before the next one comes," says Piper...
The Malian village of Borko at sunrise, shot by Nbminor, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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