Disaster is stalking children in the Sahel

Share Article

UNICEF is warning that there is little time left to stave off a disaster facing more than a million children aged below five in the Sahel region of Africa.

Unicef Australia

Unicef Australia

A multiple disaster is stalking children in the Sahel

UNICEF is warning that there is little time left to stave off a disaster facing more than a million children aged below five in the Sahel region of Africa. The dry, ‘lean’ season in the eight affected countries is imminent. For UNICEF, this will be marked by rising numbers of children in feeding centres who will need lifesaving treatment.

“A multiple disaster is stalking children in the Sahel” said the agency’s Regional Director, David Gressly.

“Even in a best case scenario we are expecting more than a million children suffering from severe and acute malnutrition to enter feeding centres over the next six months. More extreme conditions could see the number rise to around 1.5 million, and funding is still not coming at the rate we need to prepare properly.”

So far the UNICEF has received US$24 million dollars towards an emergency appeal of US$119 million dollars for 2012.

Governments, UNICEF, other UN agencies and international aid organisations are responding to a crisis caused by poor rainfall and failed harvests affecting an estimated 10 million people in areas of Chad, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, northern Nigeria, northern Cameroon and parts of the north in Senegal. The conflict in Mali, which has led to people fleeing their homes, has increased demand for emergency assistance not only there, but in neighbouring countries that have received refugees.

“The upsurge of fighting in Mali, as well the acute insecurity in northern Nigeria and elsewhere, are complicating the aid operation,” said Gressly.

“Without a good emergency response and a sustained effort to reduce risk in the medium to long term an entire generation faces a future of dependency, poverty and threatened survival.”


UNICEF is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realised. It has the global authority to influence decision-makers, and the variety of partners at grassroots level to turn the most innovative ideas into reality. That makes UNICEF unique among world organisations, and unique among those working with the young. UNICEF works in over 190 countries to promote and protect the rights of children. UNICEF also offers you ways to sponsor a child through it's Global Parent Program.

The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, clean water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and HIV. Help UNICEF by giving an Inspired Gift to your mother this mothers day. Choose from water pumps, school books, mosquito nets, anti-malarial drugs, vaccination doses or emergency food. Each gift is a proven field item that UNICEF delivers in the 156 countries in which it works.

In Australia, UNICEF advocates for the rights of all children to be realised and works to improve public and government support for child rights and international development. UNICEF receives no funding from the UN, but relies on the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Tim O’Connor
Visit website