The effort to alleviate suffering from malnutrition and starvation has always been central to Africare’s work and it dates to involvement in Sahelian relief during the early 1970s. That experience jump-started its agricultural focus by illustrating that residents of the six stricken West African nations, once they survived the drought, had to rebuild in its entirety the economic base of their livelihoods. Nomads had to reconstitute herds, find grazing routes across the desert where water was available, and in some cases become partially sedentary farmers. Villagers, confronted with diminished soils, environmental degradation, and depleted resources, literally had to begin life over. Africare’s integrated rural development projects in Niger and Upper Volta (Burkina Faso), already described, were designed to meet the multiplicity of needs. They were built on smaller agricultural activities, many of a trial and error nature that preceded them.