News / Africa

Urgent Treatment Needed For Malnourished Children In Sahel

Zara Mahamat, suffering from malnutrition, receives treatment in an intensive care tent at the hospital in N'Gouri, a desert village in Chad, April 18, 2012.
Zara Mahamat, suffering from malnutrition, receives treatment in an intensive care tent at the hospital in N'Gouri, a desert village in Chad, April 18, 2012.
Lisa Schlein
GENEVA — The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reports many severely malnourished children in West Africa’s Sahel region are at risk of dying if they do not receive special therapeutic feeding.  UNICEF says between one and 1.5 million children are expected to require life-saving treatment for this condition in Niger, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Burkina Faso. 
 
Critical need for aid

International aid agencies report the situation is particularly critical in Niger where an estimated 400,000 children are expected to require life-saving treatment for severe, acute malnutrition this year.
 
UNICEF says children in the Sahel are particularly weakened because of an upsurge in cholera, the conflict in northern Mali, food shortages and an invasion of locusts from northwest Africa, which is disrupting the summer planting season.
 
Acute malnourished

UNICEF spokesman, Patrick McCormick, says all these factors are creating a particularly dangerous situation for children in Niger.  He says on average, 1,000 new cases of severely acutely malnourished children under age five are being admitted to treatment centers every day. 
 
He says UNICEF is running dozens of therapeutic feeding programs throughout the Sahel that are proving to be extremely effective. “If a child is severely acutely malnourished and gets the right treatment in a very short space of time.  We are talking about 24 hours, that child will survive," McCormick stated. "If not, that child will die.  We have actually traced a child that went through one of our treatment centers and is fine now, having gone through the treatment.  It works.  But, it is very expensive.”  
 
UNICEF and other aid agencies are hampered by a lack of funds.  So far, UNICEF has received only $93 million of the $238 million it needs for its humanitarian operations in the Sahel this year.

Vital operations, under-funded
 
Organization of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs spokesman Jens Laerke says funding for all U.N. agencies is in trouble.  He notes the $1.6 billion consolidated U.N. appeals for five Sahelian countries is about half financed, which is not bad.
 
But he notes most of the contributions are earmarked for food and other life-saving emergencies.  While this is important, he notes other vital operations are seriously under-funded.
 
“Education.  Across the five appeals, which asked for a relatively modest $18 million is seven percent funded.  The health sector, which asked for $65 million is 17 percent funded.  The WASH sector [water, sanitation and hygiene] critical for combating cholera asked $53 million is 21 percent funded.  A fourth sector, which is also critical because we have conflict and insecurity in the area is protection, human rights, rule of law, which asked for $43 million is 20 percent funded,” Laerke explained.  
 
Laerke calls the seven percent funding for education particularly deplorable.  He says it is absolutely critical to have money for emergency education.  He says keeping children in school can help them go through this humanitarian crisis. 
 

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid