UNICEF Call for Extra Aid in Sahel

UNICEF Australia is asking for an urgent increase in funds to stop the possible food crisis across the Sahel in Africa. Up to 1 million children will be exposed to acute malnutrition in this area unless UNICEF officials can provide food, water, sanitation and education to be delivered.

UNICEF are working alongside local governments and the World Food Programme to help reaching children and their families during their hour of need. A cash transfer programme has been set up in Niger to help up to 21,000 households in partnership with Save the Children.

The current situation in the Sahel is made even worse by the lack of basic health education the people of the area have received, if any at all. With poor child feeding practices at home, alongside insufficient access to health services, UNICEF is going to have to work on both fronts to try and ensure this food insecurity doesn’t become an annual event.

UNICEF Australia Chief Executive, Dr Norman Gillespie, said –

Time is of the essence, we want to prevent the situation from deteriorating into a famine, with much higher mortality rates, as happened in Somalia last year. Last year UNICEF responded to the escalating crisis by increasing our delivery of life-saving interventions to reach more than 700,000 children suffering from malnutrition across the Sahel.

UNICEF require up to AU$62.5 million to address the immediate requirements of those affected by the current nutrition crisis in Sahel. If we don’t act now, we could be on the brink of another full scale humanitarian catastrophe like in the Horn of Africa.

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