$377 million appeal launched for Mali as malnutrition fears grow

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Children make up half of the country’s population and are highly vulnerable, particularly in the south. Credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Malnutrition and food insecurity threaten 1.5 million people in Mali and $377 million must be found to help them in 2015, the UN said Friday.

Launching the appeal in Geneva, UN humanitarian coordinating agency OCHA said that people in the African nation face a series of life-threatening challenges.

Chief among these is malnutrition, with an estimated 2.6million people expected to face food insecurity this year.

Daniel Johnson has more.

Of the 1.5 million vulnerable people in the bow-tie shaped nation, no less than 715,000 of them are children who face acute malnutrition.

UN humanitarian agency OCHA has warned that these children are up to nine times more likely to die than other youngsters.

The problem is just one that Mali has after it was gripped by a military coup in 2012 and an insurgency in the north.

Here's OCHA officer Jens Laerke:

"The plan covers all the traditional sectors of a humanitarian response: food, malnutrition, health, water, hygiene, sanitation, education, protection obviously, shelter and early recovery."

More than 60,000 people are still refugees in their own country, while another 135,000 live in neighbouring countries with little to return home to.

Another 400,000 Malians have returned to Mali to find that basic services are non-existent in the north of the country, OCHA says.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations

Duration: 0′ 58″

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