News / Africa

Children at Risk of Severe Malnutrition in Sahel

Africa's Sahel
Africa's Sahel

The United Nations Children's Fund warns nearly 860,000 children under age five in Africa's Sahel region are at risk of severe malnutrition. UNICEF says five countries in the Sahel are facing a food crisis because of bad harvests brought on by an ongoing drought. 

Niger is the most seriously affected country.  The United Nations Children's Fund reports nearly 380,000 children under age five are at risk of severe malnutrition because of lack of food.

But, the agency warns hundreds of thousands of children in Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Mali, and Chad are also threatened by food shortages.  

Millions of people throughout the region are suffering from the ongoing drought and crop failure.  But UNICEF Deputy Director for Emergency Operations Dermot Cartney says children are always the most vulnerable.

"We know that chronic malnutrition compromises the life of the child from the very beginning," he said.  "From the moment of conception… a child has to fight the fight to survive if the mother is suffering from acute malnutrition.  Once the child is born and begins to grow, the child needs to get access to vitamins and minerals. In these situations, unfortunately, these minerals and a proper amount of food is not available."  

Cartney says the lack of proper nutrition compromises the growth and cognitive development of the child.  

UNICEF says an estimated 859,000 children under the age of five are classified as being severely malnourished and in need of special therapeutic feeding.

UNICEF spokeswoman, Christiane Berthiaume, tells VOA her agency knows what needs to be done and is ready to provide the necessary services to treat these malnourished children.

"Now, what we need is the funds to put in place all our programs and to avoid the worst," she said. "And, we have a very short period of time.  In two months time it is going to be the peak.  That is when it is going to be really bad because people are already suffering.  Families are exhausting their stocks.  They have less and less food for the family.  They are moving.  They are taking out children from school because they are leaving their villages to try to go somewhere else to find some food."  

Berthiaume says UNICEF needs $50 million for its life-saving programs in the Sahel.  So far, she says the agency has received only half the amount needed to deal with the crisis.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid