News / Africa

UN Says Malnourished Children in Niger at Risk Of Dying

TEXT SIZE - +

The U.N. World Food Program warns severely malnourished children in Niger are at risk of dying. The program is set to double the number of people receiving food aid in drought-hit Niger, in the light of a new government survey showing malnutrition rates among young children have reached emergency levels.

The World Food Program says alarm bells go off when the emergency threshold of more than 15 percent of acutely malnourished children is reached.

Officials with the humanitarian agency say a new government survey in Niger finds the number of acutely malnourished children under age five has risen to nearly 17 percent. And spokeswoman Emilia Casella says that figure is even higher among very young children.

"Children under the age of three were in particular risk. They were more than twice as likely to be suffering acute malnutrition in Niger at 21.7 percent across the whole country, compared to children older than three, between three and five years old, who were experiencing that at a rate of about 9.5 percent," said Casella. "The malnutrition rates of children this young will have lasting effects on their physical and intellectual development, and that will affect them through their entire lives."

As a consequence, Casella says the World Food Program will increase supplementary feeding for all children under age two. And she says the families of these children will receive more food rations as well.

She explains the extra rations are being given to prevent hungry families from splitting the special nutritious food meant to treat acutely malnourished children, thereby depriving them of important vitamins and minerals.

For this to work, she says the agency will have to provide food for more than 4.5 million people; This is almost double the number of beneficiaries it planned to feed in Niger this year.

Program spokeswoman Casella says acutely malnourished children go to certain designated centers to receive their supplementary feeding. She says severely malnourished children require even greater care.

"Children who are severely malnourished are at particular risk of dying immediately - you know dying in a very acute concerned way - and they are receiving therapeutic feeding; and they are actually brought into a center, admitted into a center for that, as opposed to maybe coming with their parents or a care giver into a supplementary feeding center," she added.

The survey finds 3.2 percent of children under age five are severely malnourished. The program plans to increase the number of malnourished pregnant women and nursing mothers it is feeding from 24,000 to more than 100,000.

The agency had budgeted $140 million for its humanitarian operation in Niger this year. It says it will need an extra $100 million to ramp up its assistance program.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid