This blog was originally published by the World Food Programme.
More than 15,000 mothers and children in the Sahel region of Africa will receive fortified foods tailored to their nutritional needs for the next 100 days thanks to supporters of a WFP fundraising campaign which ended last month.
Donations topped the expectations of WFP campaigners whose original goal was to provide meals for 12,500 mothers and children.
"I'm so humbled by the overwhelming response of our online community," said Online Fundraising Manager Sarah Borchers, adding that a campaign to support an operation like the one in the Sahel was a tough sell for many donors.
"Raising funds to prevent a disaster can be much more difficult than if the disaster has already happened. But it's just as critical," she said. "In the Sahel, we had an opportunity to reach mothers and children before hunger began taking an irreversible toll on their lives."
Individual donors contributed around US $250,000 to the campaign. Around half of the contributions came from the United States followed by Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia.
For every dollar donated, WFP partner the Dutch National Postcode Lottery donated two dollars more bringing the total raised to more than $750,000.
Borchers said that most of the donations came in response to appeals sent by email. Over a million people worldwide subscribe to WFP's monthly newsletter, a number which has more than doubled since this time last year.
Support from WFP's online community comes at a critical time for the Sahel, which is suffering its third hunger crisis in recent years.
Drought, volatile food prices and conflict have combined to threaten millions of people across the region with hunger. Making sure that mothers and small children get the nutritious foods they need to be healthy is central part of WFP's response.
WFP and its partners are scaling up to reach some 10 million people in the region with food assistance over the coming months.