Wednesday 05 September 2012
URGENT APPEAL - West Africa Crisis
The Sahel region of West Africa is facing a serious crisis. An estimated 18.7 million people have been affected by food insecurity, malnutrition, and widespread displacement.
In Niger, these issues have been compounded by massive flooding that struck the country in August, as well an influx of refugees fleeing conflict in neighbouring Mali. The need for humanitarian assistance is massive.
A ShelterBox Response Team is currently working in Niger to bring much-needed shelter to the most vulnerable. ShelterBox Tents have already been provided for 84 familiies in the Kollo District of Niger, including nearly 450 flood survivors.
ShelterBox Canada is appealing for donations to support the relief effort.
Canadians can double the impact of their donation until September 30th through the government's Sahel Crisis Matching Fund.
The floods that struck Niger in August were the worst the country has seen in nearly 100 years. In some areas, a half year’s rainfall came down overnight. The United Nations (UN) reported that 14,000 homes and 7,000 crop fields have been destroyed to date, leaving many of the country’s poorest families without shelter and food.
ShelterBox Response Team member Mike Freeman spoke from Niger. “The River Niger in Niamey is at least two metres higher than normal, so it has breached its banks spreading up to 200 metres inland in places. Families had built along the riverbanks and planted rice crops which are now all gone. Many villages are completely covered by water and can't be seen.
In northern Mali, increasing violence has forced more than 435,000 people to flee their homes, many arriving as refugees in neighbouring countries, including Niger. Over 11,000 Malian refugees are in the Abala refugee camp in Niger’s Tillaberi region and the camp has reached its capacity.
ShelterBox is working closely with local Rotarians, OCHA (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ACTED (Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development), and the Prime Minister’s Office to bring shelter to those in most need in Niger.
The Government of Canada will match donations made to registered charities for relief efforts in the Sahel until September 30, 2012. For each dollar donated by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities, one dollar will be set aside for the Sahel Crisis Matching Fund to be administered by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). This is a unique opportunity to double the impact of your donation. To ensure your donation is matched, please indicate “West Africa/Sahel Crisis” when you donate.