Escalating violence is preventing entire communities of herders and farmers in the Sahel region from accessing land or pasture, thereby causing them to lose their main source of income and further worsening conditions in a region the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC calls a “theater of a borderless conflict”.
When the outbreak of COVID-19 led to a global ceasefire, the fighting in the Sahel region continued unabated. In the Liptako Gourma region, which straddles Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, the security situation and humanitarian crisis have deteriorated significantly in recent months. The front lines are constantly changing, which means people are always on the move in search of safety.
But conflict is not the only danger they face. Climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic are also affecting the lives of millions. The ICRC is now underlining the urgent need to help those people whose situation has become desperate particularly during this covid 19 times, and to create a space that is conducive to development.
Patrick Youssef, is the groups regional director for Africa and is with us on the programme.