Sahel food crisis goes from bad to worse with “global indifference”
Senior United Nations officials have warned that global inaction could lead to a humanitarian disaster in the Sahel region of West and Central Africa, amid the serious food and humanitarian crisis.
UN officials warned that lack of funds is threatening response to the food crisis.
According to the UN News Center, the officials made impassioned appeals to the international community to make more resources available, to assist millions of people affected by severe food and nutrition crisis in the region.
The Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, Anthony Lake, said the estimated 15 million people are affected by the drought and conflict-related crisis in the Sahel. All of this has worsened the health and sanitation conditions of people.
For the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Margaret Chen, the ongoing situation in the Sahel region is a “public health crisis”.
“We need to ask ourselves, can we turn this peril into an opportunity? That is why we would like to bring this crisis to the attention of the international community,” the WHO chief said.
Nearly 1.5 million of them are children, who face the prospect of severe acute malnutrition.
Lake, who had just returned from Chad, told a joint news conference of UNICEF, UNHCR and WHO, that they are appealing for an end to what he called “global indifference” seen to the humanitarian emergency so far.
But why is there indifference by donor?
The UNICEF Executive Director said it was partly due to donor fatigue but urged the international donor community to realize the extent of the emergency and be forthcoming.
“I know that there is a certain fatigue. I have read comments in blogs and elsewhere that ‘here we go again; once more a famine; once more African children are dying; once more there is an appeal for help,” the UNICEF Lake noted.
To add insult to injury, the Sahel humanitarian crisis is being made even more disastrous with the escalation in the rebellion in northern Mali, which has caused over 100,000 people to flee into neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso.Tweet