The worst drought of the century continues to wreak havoc in the Sahel - the area bordering the Sahara formed by Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Upper Volt,a Niger and Chad.
The worst drought of the century continues to wreak havoc in the Sahel - the area bordering the Sahara formed by Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Upper Volt,a Niger and Chad. For the last five years the rains have failed and the situation has changed from one of distress to one of desperation. Most of the people living in these areas are now almost entirely dependent on relief supplies of food.
The United States, Canada, and six european countries have combined with the United Nations in the last few months to relieve the six countries. They have promised the Sahel countries 470,000 tons of food and grain.
The relief operation is due to finish at the end of September. it is clear that emergency supplies will be needed in the worst hit areas after then. The rainy season has begun, but intermittently, and ironically, is holding up some deliveries of supplies. The rain is ruining vital roads and airstrips.
The United States has been one of the biggest contributors of grain. Three C-130 aircraft are being used in the American effort, and 3,200 tons have been transported to Mali alone. About 700 tons were sent to Chad. The total amount approved by the United States Government so far is about 200,000 tons.