“Hear our cries,” is the silent mantra of the Senegalese people. As we move slowly into the New Year, we see not only the staying power of the effects of coronavirus and its variants but also the worsening of the suffering of children and families in the region.
The harsh implications COVID-19 has had on Senegal’s economy are seen in the reversal of years of progress in the fight against hunger and extreme poverty. Senegal’s tourism-heavy economy has suffered from a lack of visitors in the last two years due to travel restrictions enacted due to COVID-19. And while the local economy depends on tourism to bring in funds, it also depends on trade to import and export key resources. The people of Senegal continuously struggle to acquire food, clean water, and hygiene products. This void has grown substantially because of massive economic issues caused by the wrath of COVID-19.
Much of sub-Saharan Africa contains limited natural resources, which means that the various countries within the region depend on trade between them to provide the basic necessities of life. For example, despite being a staple food underpinning many of the culture’s traditional dishes, Senegal only produces a limited amount of rice, and relies on a large imported stock to feed its people. Thus, people are continuing to starve each and everyday, with the numbers increasing each minute. Our Senegal based team relay the terrible circumstances of its people, and their agonizing pleas for help.
In the age of pandemic shortages and supply-chain issues, a reliance on global imports for the kinds of staples that support basic needs creates pressure on prices for families, exacerbating pandemic-induced hunger. Essentially, they have limited food supply and the food that is present is out of reach because of the inflated prices caused by the increased demand.
For over four years, MAP’s preschool nutrition programs have helped support the development of bright young minds in Senegal. Nearly 900 children a day are fed through our schools. While we have expanded our support to provide key staple foods and hygiene supplies directly to families to help them survive this pandemic. We still have so much work to do, and we need your continued support to do so. Children and families are counting on all of us to be their life-line.
To enable us to continue feeding hundreds of vulnerable children every day in Senegal and across the globe, please consider joining our Giving Circle today.