UN response to the Sahel humanitarian crisis hit by lack of funding

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malnutrition impacting children in Sahel

Lack of funding is compromising efforts by aid agencies to respond to the growing humanitarian crisis facing the Sahel region of West Africa.

United Nations humanitarian agencies operating in the region say donor fatigue has been taking its toll on the response with only half of the nearly $800 million required to respond to the crisis received to date.

United Nations children's agency UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), UN Refugee agency UNHCR and the World Food Programme (WFP) are warning that the crisis is likely to get worse in the coming months if additional support is not forthcoming.

An estimated 15 million people in the Sahel region of West Africa are facing acute food shortages as a result of drought and conflict.

UNICEF says close to 1.5 million children are on the brink of starvation.

Anthony Lake is the Executive Director of UNICEF.

“All of these are families fighting courageously to survive in circumstances that few of us could imagine. Let's not look at them as objects of pity and charity.  Let’s look at them as people we need to support in their brave struggle for survival. The more we act now, in these months, the more cost effective it is to feed children suffering from moderate malnutrition, than it is later to try and save them from severe acute malnutrition. Here we've had warning for the last few months.  Here we are working to try to keep it from getting worse.  And some day there will be no excuse for looking back and saying why didn’t we do more, more quickly.”  (Duration: 49")

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December 2017
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