Africa

“Song for the Sahel” highlights the cultural heritage of the region in the midst of the crisis

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“Song for the Sahel” highlights the cultural heritage of the region in the midst of the crisis

This song celebrates the enduring resilience, generosity, solidarity and strength that Sahelians continue to display despite the crisis surrounding them.

NEW YORK, United States of America, October 11, 2021 / APO Group / –

OCHA and Sahelian artists Vieux Farka Touré (Mali), Amadou and Mariam (Mali), Oumy Gueye (Senegal), Tal National (Niger), Songhoy Blues (Mali) and Bassekou Kouyate (Mali) today launched “La chanson of the Sahel ”.

The five-minute vocal and instrumental composition draws attention to the current crisis in the Sahel, while highlighting the region’s rich musical heritage and the resilience of its people.

The Sahel crisis is one of the fastest growing emergencies in the world. This year, nearly 29 million people are in need of life-saving assistance and protection, 5 million more than last year.

“This song celebrates the enduring resilience, generosity, solidarity and strength that Sahelians continue to demonstrate despite the crisis surrounding them, as well as their vibrant musical and cultural heritage,” said Bounena Sidi Mouhamed, deputy head of the Bureau. OCHA regional for West and Central Africa.

Mr. Vieux Farka Touré, a highly respected Malian musician and ardent defender of the Sahel, agreed to write, produce and record the song. Notable Sahelian musicians from across the region and beyond joined the collaboration, lending voices and music to raise awareness.

Their words are addressed in particular to young people, who constitute a majority of the Sahelian population.

“The youth must show courage, strength and fight against this crisis. Peace and solidarity are its tools. If peace is built now, our children of tomorrow will flourish, ”said Mr. Farka Touré. “Music is a fantastic tool for sharing messages. Sharing awareness is of paramount importance. This has a strong impact on what is happening in our countries.

The artists share a message of peace, solidarity and hope for a prosperous future for the Sahel, in which everyone has the opportunity to flourish. To achieve this goal, continued commitment and investment is required.

A behind-the-scenes video of the song’s creation is also available.

The humanitarian situation in the Sahel is deteriorating rapidly. The needs of the people of the region have reached unprecedented levels. Vulnerability is increasing due to escalating conflicts, growing food insecurity, increasing climate emergencies and the pandemic.

Sahel refers to Burkina Faso, northern Cameroon (Far North region), Chad, Mali, Niger and northeastern Nigeria (Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states). Food and nutrition insecurity figures also include Mauritania and Senegal.

Conflicts are the main driver of increased needs and displacement in the region. The rapidly deteriorating situation in the central Sahel and the Lake Chad basin threatens lives and has a devastating impact on people’s livelihoods. From 2015 to 2020, the number of violent attacks increased eightfold in the central Sahel and tripled in the Lake Chad basin. Security incidents, attacks and kidnappings are a daily reality for millions of civilians and aid workers on the ground.

The worsening insecurity affects humanitarian activities and personnel. Aid workers are under increasing threat, with 315 people kidnapped and killed last year alone. Insecurity has forced the suspension of rescue operations in some places, leaving communities without access to even basic assistance. Affected communities in remote rural areas are already struggling with chronic needs. Exposed to violence and insecurity, they quickly slide into a deep crisis.

Civilians caught between armed groups, intercommunal violence and military operations are often forced to flee their homes to find safety. Across the Sahel, a record 5.5 million people are uprooted. Large-scale displacement puts further strain on already fragile services, such as health care, education and threatened natural resources.

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