★★★Aid Workers Seek to Build ‘Resilience’ in Sahel

2012年11月30日 ★★★, 2013年6月以前の記事, News Articles, VOA, World.

Read and understand the article. If you may have any difficult words to pronounce and words you cannot understand, always ask your teacher.

*Teachers will divide the article into 2-3 paragraphs to help you understand and check the pronunciation of the difficult words.


*Read the words carefully.

  1. humanitarian /(h)yo͞oˌmaniˈte(ə)rēən/ (adj.) concerned with or seeking to promote human welfare
  2. coordinator /kōˈôrdəˌnātər/ (n.) a person who organizes people or groups so that they work together properly and well
  3. livestock /ˈlīvˌstäk/ (n.) farm animals regarded as an asset; farm animals (such as cows, horses, and pigs) that are kept, raised, and used by people
  4. resilience /riˈzilyəns/ (n.) the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens
  5. irrigate /ˈirigāt/ (vb.) to supply water to (land or crops) to help growth, typically by means of channels


Aid Workers Seek to Build ‘Resilience’ in Sahel

* Read the text below

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(1) In Africa, severe food shortages have affected eighteen million people in nine Sahel countries this year. This was the third severe food crisis in four years in the area bordering the Sahara. How can the Sahel break its cycle of food insecurity? Aid workers are asking that question as this year’s emergency eases. David Gressly is the United Nations regional humanitarian coordinator for the Sahel.

(2) “If we don’t seize the opportunity in two thousand thirteen, there’s a good chance that this whole issue will be forgotten until the next drought, and then we’ll be asking ourselves the same set of questions.”

(3) Mr. Gressly says during a crisis, families eat just one or two meals a day, take their children out of school, sell their animals and go into debt. These actions put them at greater risk in a future crisis. In fact, many of the families affected by this year’s food crisis had yet to recover from the earlier ones.

(4) Aid agencies sent food and emergency assistance. They supplied farmers with drought-resistant seeds, improved fertilizers and medicine for livestock. Aid groups also worked to improve irrigation systems and grain storage. These measures dealt with short-term needs, but David Gressly says the work should not stop when the crisis eases.

(5) “And I think now there’s an understanding [of the need for] a very targeted program looking at these eighteen million people affected this year, working with them to find ways so that they don’t have to make the kinds of decisions to survive in a crisis of a drought, for example, that compromises their long-term future.”

(6) Aid groups say they are working to build the “resilience” of communities, to make them stronger during a crisis. David Gressly says this means taking steps like reducing child malnutrition and changing cultural practices that may be harmful.

(7) For example, he says there is a practice in many communities across the Sahel to give water to babies under six months of age because of the heat. But the water is often dirty and makes the children sick. This starts a cycle toward severe malnutrition. It can be prevented by feeding babies only breast milk.

(8) This year’s food crisis followed unpredictable and insufficient rains. High food prices only made the situation worse. David Gressly says aid agencies in Chad have been building dams to store water during the rainy season. This water can later be used to irrigate fields.

(9) Al Hassan Cisse from the British aid group Oxfam says building the resilience of poor people also means investing in food reserves and social protections like health care. Aid groups say prevention costs less than treatment.


*Let’s talk about the article base on the questions below

  1. Was there a time in Japan that the people suffered from food shortage? What did the Japanese people do to solve the problem?
  2. Japan’s unemployment rate is slowly rising back up. Is there an agency or institution in your country that would help the unemployed find a job? What are these agencies and how do they help the jobless find work?
  3. As an individual, what can you do for your country to improve it’s current state? Please support your answer.


English Compositions

*Let’s make English compositions using the words from the article.

(1) resilience

EX) Aid groups say they are working to build the “resilience” of communities, to make them stronger during a crisis.

(2) irrigate

EX) This water can later be used to irrigate fields.