West Africa food crisis

Photo: Pablo Tosco

Millions of people in West Africa experienced a severe food crisis in 2012

Erratic rains, poor harvests, lack of pasture and increased food prices saw millions go hungry. One million children experienced acute malnutrition.

West Africa last experienced a major food crisis in 2010, in which ten million people were affected. They had barely recovered when the latest crisis occured. Once again they faced serious food shortages and insecurity. People were so hungry that they were forced to dig up anthills to recover grains that ants have stored.

Families in Niger, Chad, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal and The Gambia needed your help. We raised over $100,000 for the crisis.

Fundraising kit

Download poster, fundraising tips and fact sheet to help you raise money for this appeal. 

Images from West Africa


Latest news

Northern Mali: Communities affected by a food crisis

April 26, 2013

Northern Mali will descend to emergency levels of food insecurity in less than two months if the security situation and humanitarian access to vulnerable communities do not improve, warned four international aid agencies today following the analysis of experts from the Harmonised framework.

Radical shift needed to tackle Sahel hunger

April 16, 2013

In a new report published today, international agency Oxfam says that the aid community needs to fundamentally change the way it deals with food crises in the region and help communities to better prepare for recurring emergencies. 

Mali: Alarming situation

March 20, 2013

A serious food security crisis is developing in the Gao region of northern Mali due to a shortage of cereals on the market, rocketing food prices and restricted access.

Latest blogs

A struggle for life

October 4, 2012

Kim Vinnell threw in the Auckland lifestyle to experience life in Africa - receiving an early insight into the poverty and tensions besetting one corner of the continent.

A Kiwi reports: video diaries from West Africa

October 2, 2012

Kim Vinnell, a freelance New Zealand journalist, has been sending Oxfam video dispatches from her time in Niger and Mali. Kim reports on the impact our emergency response is having in West Africa, where millions of people are at risk of a severe food crisis.

Day two: Living Below the Line

September 27, 2012

Lynda Brendish continues with her week of living on $2.25 of food a day to understand living below the extreme poverty line.

Latest stories

February 28, 2010

In 2010 poor harvests and water shortages threatened the lives of over 10 million people across West Africa. Oxfam launched an emergency programme to provide support to 400,000 people in Niger, 100,000 people in Mali and 100,000 people in Chad.

You can help with future emergencies

Oxfam aims to respond immediately to humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters, but we can only do this if we have funds ready when they are needed. You can help: