UNICEF launch appeal for Sahel food crisis response

    An “unprecedented” response is needed in the Sahel region of West and Central Africa to stop the spread of hunger and malnutrition that already threatens up to seven million people, including about a million children under five, UNICEF has stressed.

    The U.N. agency is appealing for an initial $65.7 million to buy and distribute therapeutic food and other relief supplies for affected populations, particularly children in Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Mauritania, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal. UNICEF said the appeal also covers the cost of deploying trained professionals to address needs on the ground.

    UNICEF estimates a “staggeringly high” number of more children under five — about 1 million — would need treatment for severe malnutrition.

    “This children’s crisis is going to be immensely challenging,” David Gressly, UNICEF’s regional director, said. “We do not issue such warnings lightly, but the scale demands an appropriate response that needs to start now.”

    Among donors that have announced support for UNICEF operations in the Sahel region is Sweden, which is contributing 20 million Swedish kronor ($2.9 million) to the organization. Sweden said it is donating 10 million Swedish kronor to a Food and Agriculture Organization project in Niger as part of its initial response to the crisis.

    Read more: 

    Read more development aid news online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.

    About the author

    • Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.