Corporate & Individual donations sought for West African drought victims, Counterpart announces

August 22, 2012

Arlington, VA – As the worst drought in 15 years continues to devastate communities and increase malnutrition among the most vulnerable people in West Africa, the nonprofit Counterpart International is asking companies, their employees and individuals to donate to the relief efforts.

“Counterpart is taking on this crisis one village at a time,” says Joan Parker, President and CEO of Counterpart, which is working in three of the eight countries affected. “Your assistance will have a positive and lasting impact on the people in these communities.”

Financial support will be used to supply urgently-needed food, provide emergency health assistance and dig new wells, which will be used for drinking, sanitation, irrigation and livestock.

Support will be combined with funds from other donors, including the U.S. Agency for International Development (, in Mauritania, Senegal and Niger. Counterpart has been working with communities to reduce the suffering caused by the prolonged drought and is coordinating its efforts with other international organizations.

As many as 19 million people in eight countries are confronting a monumental drought that is killing livestock and decimating crops. More than 1 million children are at risk of dying of malnutrition, according to UNICEF.

Called the “Sahel,” this West African climate zone is between the Sahara desert to the north and the savanna grasslands to the south.

The Sahel region has been fighting a series of climate-driven droughts during the past several decades. Unfortunately, the time between each drought is shorter, and villagers are finding it more difficult to recover before the next one begins.

“Counterpart is coordinating with villagers to get them through this drought and building their resilience to face future crises,” says Parker.

Self-sufficiency is one of the shared goals of Counterpart and the communities, Parker says. The global nonprofit and communities in Senegal, Mauritania, and Niger are collaborating on water management techniques, soil conservation, community gardens and other strategies.

To learn more about Counterpart’s work in West Africa, please visit its multimedia section:

Corporate donations

In addition to the life-changing support, companies will receive recognition and other benefits by donating to Counterpart International, which is a U.S. nonprofit organization registered with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3).

Companies that want to provide financial assistance to the drought victims in West Africa may contact Scott Schirmer at Counterpart International. Tel. (703) 236-1200 (extension 7089).

Individual donations

Individual donations may be made directly through Counterpart’s website:


Media contact information:
Michael J. Zamba
Senior Director of Communications
Counterpart International
Tel. (703) 236-4324

Counterpart International helps people build better lives and more durable futures, community by community. For 50 years, Counterpart has been an innovator, changing the way people look at, and solve, global development challenges. Today, we are working with more than 3,500 local organizations, and more than 150,000 leaders — including women and youth — in 24 countries around the world. Learn more

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