Back to Gift Store >


4.2 million

More than 4.2 million people have been displaced across the region (as of 2023).

3.7 million

3.7 million people are internally displaced in the region (as of 2023).

10 million

More than 10 million children in the Sahel are in dire need of humanitarian assistance (as of 2022).

About the Crisis in Sahel

The Sahel, a vast semi-arid region in Africa that includes the countries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, is experiencing one of the world’s most severe humanitarian and protection crises.

Indiscriminate attacks by armed groups and militias, insecurity, widespread human right violations, including gender-based violence and violence against children, and the effects of climate change have triggered massive displacements across the region. An estimated 3.7 million people have been internally displaced, and more than half a million refugees and asylum seekers have sought refuge in neighboring countries. The crisis is already affecting neighboring countries, such as Mauritania and Chad, and risks spilling over to Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Togo.

Communities across the Sahel rely on farming and pastoralism, which are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In the past few years, changes to the ecosystem have fueled a food scarcity crisis and competition over resources, putting millions at risk of food insecurity. 


Sahel: One of the world's fastest-growing humanitarian crises

How to Help Refugees in the Sahel Region

UNHCR is on the ground aiding refugees in the Sahel region, but resources are stretched too thin. Your gift will offer hope for a safe future.

What is UNHCR doing to help refugees in the Sahel?

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is scaling up efforts to meet the growing demands of vulnerable populations through the provision of emergency shelter, lifesaving relief itemshealthcare and education services as well as psychological support to victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SVBG).

The UN Refugee Agency is also working with the governments of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger to launch an intergovernmental platform, called Bamako Process, aimed at strengthening the security and protection of vulnerable populations across the region.

Learn more about What We Do.

More Facts about the Sahel Crisis

15-year-old refugee girl collects peanuts at Djabal refugee camp, Chad

More Facts

  • The central Sahel is one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to the effects of climate change, with temperature increases that are 1.5 higher than the global average.
  • Only 49 percent of the population in the Sahel have access to electricity and only 12 percent have access to clean water.
  • Around 64 percent of the population in the Sahel are less than 25-years-old, making it one of the most youthful regions worldwide. 

Other Emergencies