The causes of hunger and malnutrition in the Sahel are complex and deeply rooted. Even with a good harvest, particularly vulnerable communities cannot afford to buy available food in the market. Poor health care, sanitation, and feeding practices are also major contributors to malnutrition.
However, a drought and failed harvest makes it that much worse. The hardship, food insecurity and acute malnutrition vary by district, village and community, and public health and nutrition monitoring must be very specific and localized to identify existing pockets of need.