The?U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs?announced that by Tuesday the?United Nations?had so far only received about a quarter of the?US$1 billion required for the imminent food crisis; the United Nations had appealed to the international community for donations.
The situation is further complicated by?Tuareg?separatists?in?Mali, which are a security risk to the charities and have displaced residents to other states of the Sahel, as well as by workers in?Niger, who have returned from?Libya?or?Nigeria, but found no occupation in Niger. The government of Niger has initiated a program for this group consisting of relief food aid and labor schemes.
“We witnessed last year the situation spiraling out of control in?East Africa?as the aid community failed to act swiftly,” explained Mamadou Biteye, the regional director of?Oxfam?for?West Africa: “The worst can be avoided and thousands of lives will be saved if we act now. It’s that simple.”