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Flawed aid worsens plight of Africa's Sahel-report
Written by Daniel Flynn, Reuters Africa   

DAKAR, June 11 (Reuters) - Short-sighted and inadequate foreign aid has worsened the plight of millions of people in Africa's parched and poverty-stricken Sahel belt, according to a report commissioned by major charities in the region.

The study entitled "Beyond Any Drought", backed by charities including Oxfam and Save the Children, argues that unless aid programmes are overhauled Africa's poorest nations face harsher famines as free-market reforms deepen the roots of poverty.

Two years after a crisis in Niger left 3.6 million people short of food and grabbed world headlines with images of starving children, aid agencies failed to improve coordination with one another and with local governments.

"History will repeat itself unless governments in the Sahel and donor agencies adopt an entirely new strategy for the region," says Camilla Toulmin, director of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) think-tank which co-issued the report.

Foreign organisations frequently fail to consult local residents', are inflexible with preconceived aid solutions and focus more on meeting their donors' targets than improving the lives of the poor, the report argued.

Read the full Article: Flawed aid worsens plight of Africa's Sahel-report

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