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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora