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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid