Published on May 4, 2012 at 12:15 AM
"At least one million children are at risk of dying of malnutrition in the central-western part of Africa's Sahel region due to a drought crisis, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said [Wednesday], adding that more resources are urgently needed to help those in need," the U.N. News Centre reports. "There are currently 15 million people facing food insecurity in the Sahel, which stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea," the news service writes, adding, "The nutrition crisis is affecting people throughout Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and the northern regions of Cameroon, Nigeria and Senegal."
"The agency has appealed for $120 million to expand its operations and provide health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education, and child protection services in the affected countries -- however, only half of the required funding has been donated so far," according to the news service (5/2). According to a UNICEF press release, the agency on Wednesday received two donations from the European Commission's Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) to provide treatment for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in the Sahel nutrition crisis." Of the donations, totaling 16.5 million euros, or approximately $21.7 million, "[a] contribution of 11.5 million euros [approximately $15.1 million] will be spent on nutrition programs in each of the eight affected countries," and "[a] second tranche of five million euros [approximately $6.6 million] is assigned to Chad, where some 127,000 children under five are at risk of dying," the press release notes (5/2).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.