Mali, along with several of its neighbouring countries in the Sahel region of West Africa, remains in a state of crisis. The rebel threat has not gone away, despite their withdrawal from strategic towns, and the recent fighting has increased tensions between different ethnic groups, some of whom have been associated with the rebels' cause.
Harne Waddaye, a 60-year-old grandmother, digs for food in the bare earth outside the small village of Louga in the African country of Chad. She is raiding ant nests for the grain they have stored. The few grains she is able to gather will go along with the leaves from trees her daughter collects to feed her four children and six grandchildren. It is a meagre fare.
Eight-year-old Sitan was lying on a rattan mat outside her family's house shading herself from the baking midday sun. Years of malnutrition had left this eight-year-old looking more like a little girl of four. Worse, she could barely move and was virtually silent. She, like many millions of children across the developing world, has a condition called stunting. In layman's terms this means she didn't get enough nutritious food as young child and is now physically and possibly mentally less developed than she should be.
Recent science analysis predicts that we are heading for between 4- 6°C of global warming. Such rapid change in our climate system will bring about profound and in some cases catastrophic damages. This is the stuff science fiction movies are made of: Storms and typhoons will be more frequent and will kill more lives and destroy more infrastructures.
I've long thought that the editors of our international media (and the British media is a particular culprit) needs to start noticing Africa. Not just the coups and the food crises and the droughts, but also the positive stories, the African success stories that are putting, for example, Ghana amid the fast growing nations in the world.
With a hunger crisis sweeping across the Sahel affecting eight African countries and putting the fragile existences of a million children in jeopardy now may seem a strange time to be talking about the remarkable progress for the world's poorest children that has been achieved over the past 20 years.