International association of independent non-governmental bodies working against poverty and injustice, Oxfam has warned that failure to increase the preparation of West Africans for food security may leave millions of citizens unprotected.
Oxfam in a press statement made available to the award winning NaijaAgroNet, the organization also called on governments of West African nations that have already taken note of the coming food crisis to scale up measures so as to ensure that people have money to buy food with animal feed for their livestock.
The stocking of emergency food items ready for distribution, Oxfam noted could aid to avert the situation.
The Humanitarian Lead, West Africa at Oxfam, Mr. Mamadou Biteye, said the situation is looking extremely worrisome for millions of people in West Africa, but the worst is not yet inevitable.
Cereal production, Oxfam cited for instance, is down compared to the five year average according to national warning systems, even as Mauritania and Chad showed a deficit of over 50 per cent compared to 2010.
He further said that national food reserves are dangerously low with prices of some key cereals going higher upto 40 per cent than the five-year average.
Biteye stressed that considering the major food crisis of 2010 that affected 10 million people in the Sahel region of the continent, noting that people are still recovering from the 2010 crisis and are highly vulnerable to any extra shocks such as increase in food prices.
He affirmed to NaijaAgroNet that other shocks may include poor harvests and or the death of their livestock; hence, he advised the building of resilience before 2012 as acting early could make a big difference.
In a bid to gear up its work in addressing urgent needs of the most vulnerable, Oxfam said, its working in some of the affected areas to help communities to boost their resistance to the coming crisis by getting ready to provide food aid.
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