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West African nations suffer from severe food insecurity

Residents in West Africa's Sahel region, home to nations like Chad, Niger and Sudan, have a tough year ahead of them, facing droughts, high food prices and continued malnutrition, IRIN reports.

A recent report from the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), predict that "millions" of people in this area will face food security issues well into the new year as food production in Sahel will be lower than usual and many pastoralists have lost most of their livestock, and therefore their livelihoods.

"We are worried because these irregular rainfalls have occurred in very vulnerable areas where people's resilience is already very weakened," Jean-Martin Bauer, the livelihoods specialist at WFP told the publication. "They are the ones [residents in the Sahelian region] with no access to land, lost livestock, without able-bodied men who can find work in cities - they are particularly affected by a decrease in production."

In Chad, nearly one third of all households suffer from acute malnutrition, while in Niger more than 50 percent of the population suffers from food insecurity. The news source reports that 22 percent of cases are extreme.

To help this growing problem, humanitarian groups like Action Against Hunger have been working to expand their food and nutrition programs in the region.
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