Senegalese singer Baaba Maal today launched a personal appeal to raise $5,000 for communities facing a food crisis in the Sahel region of West and Central Africa.
Baaba Maal joins fellow Oxfam Ambassadors actor Djimon Hounsou and actress Kristin Davis by creating his own personal fundraising page through Oxfam’s ACT FAST program, which is open to anyone wishing to raise funds and awareness to help millions as risk in the Sahel.
“I have traveled with Oxfam to personally see how the food crisis is affecting families in Mauritania and my home country of Senegal. I was shocked by how bad things were. As well as the acute lack of food, we saw children struggling to find water to drink. Everywhere is dry, wells have dried up and dead animals are littered everywhere,” said Baaba Maal.
“Oxfam’s personal fundraising page gives me the opportunity to take action against hunger in the Sahel. My fans worldwide are amazing and generous, and I would be so honored if all those who enjoy my music would help me support families who do not have enough to eat. Drought is inevitable in the Sahel, but hunger is not.”
Money raised will go toward Oxfam’s work across seven countries: Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad. More than 18 million people are at risk of hunger in this region. The food crisis, brought about by low rainfall, poor harvest, a lack of pasture, and rising food prices, is only set to escalate. Oxfam is working quickly to respond to urgent survival needs, to help restore livelihoods for farmers and pastoralists, and to protect communities against future food crises.
The region is also dealing with over 385,000 displaced Malians who have been forced to leave their homes as a result of conflict in Northern Mali. More than 200,000 are seeking refuge in Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger – countries where communities are already struggling to find enough to eat.
“Families are struggling to find food to eat right now. Without assistance, they will lose their livelihoods and possibly even their lives. It’s easy to turn away from an emergency that seems so far away from your home, but already I am seeing 850,000 of my own countrymen at risk. In this case, we are all neighbors and Oxfam has given us an opportunity to raise money for our brothers and sisters in crisis,” said Baaba Maal.
Supporters can visit www.oxfamamerica.org/baabamaal to contribute to Baaba Maal’s appeal.