(Not sure how accurate this map from Wikipedia is)
This region has been in the international eye since May 2012 because of the risk and eventual famine in the area. You can learn a little bit about it here.
In a nutshell, an estimated 19 million people in the Sahel region of Western Africa are affected by a food and nutrition crisis due to drought, sporadic rains, poor harvests, soaring food prices and widespread displacement. As a result, more than 1 million children under the age of five are at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition.
For every eligible dollar donated by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities before September 30th 2012, Canada will set aside one dollar for the Sahel Crisis Matching Fund.
Some organizations that you can donate to online:
Presbyterian World Service & Development
Canadian Red Cross
I'm thankful that our contribution will be matched by the Canadian government and I hope that the world rallies to help these people.
Does anyone know more about this region? (Is the map at all accurate?)