Friday, May 20, 2022

Severe Hunger Threatens 18Mln People In Sahel During Summer - OCHA

Severe Hunger Threatens 18Mln People In Sahel

About 18 million people, including 7.7 million children aged under five, will face severe food insecurity in the next three months in Africa's Sahel region, the highest figure since 2014, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Friday.

"In the Sahel, 7.7 million children under age 5 are expected to suffer from malnutrition, of whom 1.8 million are severely malnourished. If aid operations are not scaled up, this number could reach 2.4 million by the year's end," OCHA said.

The UN has allocated about $30 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund to the four African countries with worst food insecurity $6 million for Burkina Faso and $8 million each for Chad, Mali, and Niger.

These countries are forecast to experience "emergency levels of food insecurity during the lean season between June and August," the agency said.

"This injection of cash will help agencies on the ground scale up the emergency response to help avoid a catastrophe. It is no substitute, however, for the more substantial donor contributions we need to maintain our response and help build resilient communities," Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said, as quoted in the press release.

A total of $3.8 billion was appealed by humanitarian organizations for financial assistance for Sahel this year, but less than 12% has been collected thus far, OCHA said.

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