Mauritania and surrounding countries are continuing to experience growing drought. According to the UN Development Programme more than 15 million people in the Sahel region in Western Africa risk undernourishment. It also notes that though there have been many positive improvements in the area still more than a quarter of the population are still food insecure.

To help address this situation in a manner that best meets the needs and respectes the dignity of the people being served, the LWF has implemented a new approach. They, working with the World Food Programme, are providing 5,000 vulnerable families with cash to purchase food over a six-month period of time. Though for some this may seem like a risky venture the following quote from an LWF article about the situation makes a great point:

Mohammed Jiddou works for the WFP [World Food Programme] in Nouakchott and is responsible for the cash transfer project. He says the implementation of the project is faster than distributing food from abroad, which takes at least three to four months between the control and distribution to beneficiaries.

The program allows families most at risk the freedom to choose what foods they need. It also stimulates the local economy by guaranteeing the food is bought locally. And as can been seen from the quote above, in the midst of a disaster time is of the essence and this program gets food to people potentially months sooner than traditional methods.

To learn more about the program, how it run and how it is received, read the full LWF article: Freedom to Choose Food During Shortages

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