Photo: FAO/IFAD/WFP/Luis Tato

The Sahel

Rising Conflict and Climate

The Central Sahel – encompassing Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger – risks being consumed by a lethal mix of escalating armed conflict, the severe impacts of climate change and now the spread of COVID-19.

A Deadly Combo of Conflict & Climate Change

Families were just barely recovering from the 2018 food crisis, and now the number of internally displaced people has quadrupled to 1.6 million in the last year. On top of that, the coronavirus pandemic will strain the region to the breaking point, as its health systems are some of the weakest in the world.


people are food insecure in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger


people WFP reached through its resilience programs


tons of emergency food rations are needed

Millions of people across the region are in need of urgent, life-saving food.

  • 2.1Min Burkina Faso
  • 2Min Niger
  • 1.3Min Mali
Map of the sahel
Photo: WFP

The Situation in the Sahel


WFP is providing assistance to the most crisis-affected people – including refugees and internally displaced persons – via food, emergency school meals and specialized nutrition products for children.

Photo: WFP/Simon Pierre Diouf
Burkina Faso

Here, WFP operations also include a local yogurt production project, treatment and prevention of malnutrition, small-scale farmer support, and micro and macro-insurance policies.

Photo: WFP/George Fominyen

In Mali, 34% of infant deaths are directly related to under-nutrition. WFP provides nutrition assistance to children under 5 who are acutely malnourished and to pregnant women and nursing mothers.

Photo: WFP/Agron Dragaj
Photo: WFP/Simon Pierre Diouf

Survival in the Sahel

It’s always been an unforgiving landscape – hot, dry and sparse – but now families in the region are facing two growing threats at the same time: climate change and conflict. Boko Haram’s campaign of terror has displaced thousands of people as farmers and pastoralists clash over access to shrinking land. This Hacking Hunger episode takes you to Niger, where families are fighting for their lives.

Photo: WFP/Simon Pierre Diouf

WFP is going beyond food delivery in the Sahel.

It’s investing in activities that improve livelihoods, restore ecosystems, create jobs and build social cohesion. These projects aim to transform lives, end hunger, reduce unsafe migration, educate young people and help families overcome conflict and climate change.