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WFP Regional Coordinator Examines Solutions To Sahel Food Crises

“Those working to combat food insecurity in the Sahel need to ‘get their thinking together’ and realize that it could take several years for the poorest families to recover from three successive regional droughts and hunger crises, says the new regional coordinator of the World Food Programme (WFP),” The Guardian reports. “Denise Brown, who took up the post in early April after two years as WFP head of office in Niger, says an integrated approach between agencies is needed,” the newspaper writes, adding, “Brown is hoping her experience in Niger — the worst affected country in the 2012 crisis, when about five million people went hungry and many thousands of children suffered severe malnutrition — will stand her in good stead to help WFP coordinate better regionally with other bodies such as the U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF, and the Food and Agriculture Organization.”

“In Niger, WFP has been looking for overlaps in several areas in which it works, such as food distribution and cash for work programs,” The Guardian writes and highlights a program, called Nigeriens Feed Nigeriens, or “Trois Ns,” which The Guardian says has influenced Brown’s interest in better coordination. “Led by the Nigerien president Mahamadou Issoufou, the initiative aims to tackle Niger’s chronic food insecurity using homegrown methods,” the newspaper writes, adding, “Brown believes that the Trois Ns’ focus on building local capacity to deal with what seems to be becoming a permanent pattern of unpredictable rainy seasons and harvests should be translated to the regional level” (Hicks, 5/9).