What are the needs?
Senegal is one of the most stable democracies in Africa. Despite efforts to boost the economy and provide basic social services, poverty and unemployment remain high. The 2012 food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel also affected areas of Senegal where drought and high food prices coincided.
Following average harvest in 2013, the situation has further deteriorated putting more than 2 million Senegalese at risk of food insecurity in 2014. Many poor families are yet to recover from the negative coping strategies they were forced to adopt in the face of high food prices such as incurring debt or selling their assets to buy food. 2014 will also see 340 000 children under five suffer from acute malnutrition, 79 000 of whom will suffer from its deadliest form.
How are we helping?
The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) is funding the provision of food assistance and nutrition care to some of the most vulnerable Senegalese. This includes the supply of easy-to-use therapeutic foods for nutrition centres throughout the country. ECHO partners are providing support to health centres for the treatment of severely undernourished children in Diourbel, Tambacounda and close to the Mauritanian border in Matam. The scaling up of nutrition care is proving a major challenge due to the health system’s limited capacity.
ECHO also funds food assistance in the form of in-kind donations and cash transfers to vulnerable families in high-risk areas. In order to better understand vulnerability to food insecurity in Senegal and other countries of the Sahel, ECHO promotes a Household Economy Approach (HEA). This approach allows for the precise targeting of the poorest segments of the population who can’t feed their families properly and would therefore require assistance.