April 2nd, 2012
10:28 PM ET

Social media campaign aims at fighting food crisis in Africa's Sahel

Vast portions of west and central Africa have become so dry that they can't support crops, livestock and the millions of people who live there.

The Sahel - a belt of arid land that stretches across Africa below the Sahara Desert - is a zone prone to cycles of drought, and eight countries are seeing the worst of it this time.

The United Nations estimates that more than 10 million people are in danger of starving to death. Aid workers on the ground say it's getting worse quickly.

In response, UNICEF is launching a 24-hour social media campaign on Tuesday to raise awareness about the food crisis in Africa.

Called #SahelNOW, the campaign asks users on Facebook, Twitter and other social media to post messages over the day Tuesday to boost awareness of the problem and the estimated 1 million children in danger.

What can you do? UNICEF asks the public to post videos about the problem, tweet out messages, use Facebook statuses to share and more in the #SahelNOW campaign. (Check out more here)

Aid workers on the ground say the situation is rapidly deteriorating.

"It's related to the lack of rains in 2011 and the drought," said David Gressly, UNICEF's regional director.

"People are trying to cope with that by selling their personal belongings - cattle, livestock," he said. "They're pulling children out of school to adapt to this."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently announced the U.S. will earmark $120 million in emergency assistance for the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Sahel.

More about the project: Facebook | Twitter | UNICEF web site

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Filed under: Africa • World
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. Truth

    The American Red Cross President and CEO Marsha J. Evans' salary for the year was $951,957 plus expenses.

    The United Way President Brian Gallagher receives a $675,000 base salary alongwith numerous expense benefits.

    UNICEF CEO Caryl M. Stern receives $1,900,000 per year (158K per month), plus all expenses including a ROLLS ROYCE. Less than 5 cents (4.4 cents) per donated dollar goes to the cause.

    The Salvation Army's Commissioner Todd Bassett receives a salary of only $13,000 per year (plus housing) for managing this $2 billion dollar organization. 96 percent of donated dollars go to the cause.

    The American Legion National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary. Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

    · The Veterans of Foreign Wars National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary. Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

    · The Disabled American Veterans National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary. Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

    · The Military Order of Purple Hearts National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary. Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

    · The Vietnam Veterans Association National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary. Your donations go to help Veterans and their families and youth!

    April 3, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • boulderbubblemomblog

      And your point is? would you have these CEOs work for nothing? Do you have any ideas what it takes to run and organization like that? No, you don't....

      April 3, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John Holmes

    Africans.... Failing everywhere. I'm glad we have 10's of millions of them in the U.S.

    April 3, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kimberly Anderson Aulis

    Consider this startling fact: This article indicates that U.S. Secretary of State Clinton announced the U.S. will earmark $120 million in emergency assistance to deal with this humanitarian crisis in which 10 million lives are at risk. The U.S. spends more than double this PER DAY ($300 Million) on the Afghan war.

    April 3, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. odinfury

    climate change due to human interaction or other phenomon....is moot. Africa's main problem is water! Simple as that water. Water for plants, livestock, humans etc.. Only solution is the creation of an economically viable distilation of OCEAN WATER on a MASSIVE SCALE and the distribution of that to the interior countries.

    April 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • boulderbubblemomblog

      Sure, but who is going to pay for it? And, again, we shouldn't ignore global warming and birth control as effecting the issue, and as good methods of healthy population control.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. boulderbubblemomblog

    @Mmmmm..... You are CRAZY with a huge, capital "C". Take your meds. Most PP funds go for women's health, NOT abortions. You look it up. It's an easy Google, or you could just keep avoiding the facts and continue living in your dream world of conspiracy theories...

    April 3, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. boulderbubblemomblog

    This a a moral dilemma... Is this natural selection and evolution, or should WE ALL pitch in and help? And if we do, what are the Africans going to do to help themselves??? Are the governments and leaders going to stop hoarding all the resources/funds and help set up programs to help their people? No.

    April 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John Holmes

    Look! More of Obama's sons.

    April 3, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Philip

    Hay! I've got a great idea. Let's just continue to suck Africa dry of oil and pick them clean of diamonds, and when they ask for some food in return send them a box of condoms and tell them to stop having so many people to feed.

    April 3, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. boulderbubblemomblog

    No one should be eating GirlScout cookies regardless of what organization they are supporting. They are FULL of preservatives and refined sugar. There is NO nutritive value in them.

    April 3, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      seriously? You have no idea what a real problem is....what is to go hungry, shame on you.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Philip

    @Boulder. Hogwash. We haven't always had world wars, influenza's, AIDS, and so many freaking EQ's they've become boring. And we've never seen the level of fear we see throughout the world today. We are living in unique times. What we are seeing is not the same old same old.

    April 3, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Philip

    Example: Nigeria Africa is one of the top-ten oil exporting nations on earth. Nigerian citizens should be among the wealthiest individuals on earth. Why aren't they?

    April 3, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Philip

    Do the math. Research how much oil Nigeria exports and then ask yourself how can these people be starving? Holy crap! Their floating on freaking oil!

    April 3, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tim

    The United Nations is NOT where I'd give MY money. Give to Missions groups that go to Africa, at least that way you know that your money is being used for the PEOPLE that need it. Not dictators and bureaucrats. Project 61 is a good one.

    April 3, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Philip

    Nigeria is floating on oil. How can they be starving? Where is their oil going? Is it even being paid for? Most assume that it is and are totally ignorant of little factoids like Nigeria being one of the TOP TEN freaking OIL EXPORTING nations in HUMAN HISTORY. and they starve! Preposterous!

    April 3, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. rad666

    Give more American dollars to Israel to fight with Iran.

    April 3, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
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