Just as the Horn of Africa is beginning to recover from last year’s severe drought and food insecurity, the Sahel region of Africa is now facing a similar plight as a result of violence, poor crops, rising food prices and other factors. More than 13 million people are vulnerable, according this infographic from OCHA.

Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in the affected countries in West Africa, with support from several other national societies, have been providing assistance to communities and are using technology to track how the aid is being distributed.

We’ve talked about Ushahidi a few times on this blog and this is a great example of how Red Cross societies are using this innovative tool in response to a crisis.

Ushahidi map of Red Cross aid in Sahel

Ushahidi map of Red Cross aid in the Sahel

The benefits of Ushahidi are pretty obvious. As a donor, you can see exactly how the Red Cross is helping in affected countries. It’s also helping in the coordination of aid, which is important when every distribution matters.

Check out this Red Cross-sourced map with reports on everything from food distributions to agricultural support. New dots representing reports are popping up on the map regularly, as the Red Cross ramps up its response to this crisis.

The Canadian Red Cross has been working in the region and is ready to assist with emergency supplies and personnel if needed. Canadians can donate online to support these efforts.