Food crisis worsens due to cholera outbreak in Sahel: UNICEF

Food crisis worsens due to cholera outbreak in Sahel: UNICEF
# 07 August 2012 23:19 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. The food security situation in the Sahel region of West Africa has been "getting significantly worse" due to a recent outbreak of cholera in some areas, said a spokesman with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Patrick McCormick told reporters that next week was expected to see the peak of admissions of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition into treatment centers across Sahel.

This would be exacerbated by a harvest in northern Niger which had been threatened by the arrival of locusts, he added.

UNICEF statistics showed that in Niger, the worst-affected country in the region, about 161,000 children under five have been suffering severe acute malnutrition as of July 8. There had been a daily average of 1,000 new cases of severe acute malnutrition since mid-April.

In Chad, 73,630 children under five had been admitted for treatment with severe acute malnutrition, which represented a doubling of the monthly caseload of new admissions compared with 2010.

The UN and its humanitarian partners appealed in June for 1.6 billion U.S. dollars for assistance to 18.7 million people in the crisis-stricken Sahel region.

Currently, 51 percent of the fund needed has been collected, said Jens Laerke, spokesman of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on the same day.

The OCHA said earlier that more than one million children under five are at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition and require immediate relief, and another three million are at risk of moderate acute malnutrition.