Finding local solutions in a regional food crisis
DORI, Burkina Faso, 17 May 2013 - After 35 days at Dori Hospital, 15 of them in a coma, 2-year-old Mariama now weighs 6.5 kilograms and is on the road to recovery. When she arrived, she weighed just five kilograms and was suffering from severe malnutrition with complications. Over the last two years, this referral hospital in the hot and dry north of Burkina Faso has seen a steady flow of such cases, as a large-scale nutrition crisis across nine countries of the Sahel region has left more than a million children at risk for or suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
Support in Mauritania for thousands of refugees from conflict in Mali
FASSALA, Mauritania, 5 February 2013 – As conflict rages in northern Mali, thousands of people caught up in the fighting are struggling to survive, trying to escape hardship and reach more secure areas. Many remain stranded.
Education a first step to improving nutrition security in Burkina Faso
OUAHIGOUYA, Burkina Faso, 10 September 2012 - A thin dusting of bright green shoots covers the sandy plains around Ouahigouya, in northwest Burkina Faso. Recent rains have broken a three-year drought, and vegetation in this arid region has come to life.
Floods strike the Niger amidst nutrition crisis and cholera outbreak
SARANDO GANDA, Niger, 5 September 2012 - In Sarando Ganda, a village along the Niger River on the outskirts of Niamey, many of the mud-brick houses have collapsed or are severely damaged, leaving 70 per cent of the population homeless.
Survey results: Child malnutrition rates remain alarming in Chad
WADI FIRA, Chad, 30 August 2012 – The fire that broke out at the Biltine health centre in Chad’s Wadi Fira region was something these people could ill afford.
Nigeria battles a worsening malnutrition crisis
KATSINA STATE, Nigeria, 28 August 2012 - It’s 9 a.m., and already the soil is being scorched by the unforgiving sun. The landscape is bleached out with no shade. The only splash of color is provided by 10 yellow watering cans lined up neatly by the side of a muddy well. Next to them, Al Haji Yahaya and his young son are methodically filling them up with brown-coloured water from what is little more than a sandy hole.
Basketball champion Pau Gasol says it’s possible to end malnutrition in the Sahel
Mao and N´Djamena, Chad, 27 August 2012 - Silver medalist at the 2012 Summer Olympics, two-time (United States) National Basketball Association champion and UNICEF Spain Ambassador Pau Gasol is in Chad to visit with children and families affected by the food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel.
As the food crisis in Mali worsens, UPS and UNICEF deliver humanitarian aid
BAMAKO, Mali, 21, August 2012 - On 16 August, a large M-11 jet airliner touched down at the Bamako-Sénou International Airport, as the United Parcel Service (UPS) made its first free-of-charge delivery to UNICEF Mali. As part of UPS’s efforts to help people in the Sahel affected by the food and nutrition crisis, 20 metric tons of supplies were delivered to Mali. The supplies are part of UNICEF’s emergency response to the food and nutrition crisis in the North of Mali, which has been complicated by a cholera outbreak and armed conflict.
In Niger, amidst on-going nutrition and refugee crisis UNICEF responds to cholera outbreak
Tillabéri, Niger, 5 August 2012 - Djamilatu, a 3-year-old girl, was rushed to a nearby health center after suffering from diarrhoea and abdominal pain, common symptoms of cholera. “She was in a bad state,” recounts her mother Aichatou Abdou. “She thought she would die. She is still scared.”
Teaching the principles of good hygiene to school children
KATSINA STATE, Nigeria, 30 July 2012 – Nigeria has a vast coastline and river tributaries that irrigate the south, yet insufficient access to clean water contributes to millions of deaths every year. One in seven children will die in Nigeria before they reach the age of 5, many of them from waterborne illnesses.
Outpatient services save the lives of severely malnourished children in Nigeria
KATSINA, Nigeria, 20 July 2012 – The first rains have arrived in northern Nigeria. Tufts of guinea corn are peeking out from the soil. Farmers are optimistic that this year’s growing season will yield good results – yet hundreds of children are packed into a community clinic near Katsina, seeking treatment for severe acute malnutrition.
UNICEF and partners support the distribution of food supplements for children at risk of malnutrition in Mauritania
KIFFA/BOUGHADOOUM, Mauritania, 9 July 2012 – At 8 a.m., 22-year-old Tahya Mint Bowbe, her 11-month-old son Cheikh and her 3-year-old sister Aminte Mint Bowbe waited in a queue of children and women at the health centre in Kiffa. They were there to participate in a malnutrition screening for children under age 5 and a blanket feeding program providing food supplements to all children aged 6 to 24 months.
In Mauritania, healthcare campaign aims to save children from preventable diseases
M’BOUT and NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, 28 June 2012 – More than 500,000 children across Mauritania have benefited from a two-month campaign organized by the Ministry of Health, with support from UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), that provided an integrated package of immunizations (including measles and polio vaccinations) and vitamin A supplementation for all Mauritanian children under 5 years old.
UNICEF launches its largest-ever operation against malnutrition in Chad
MAO, Chad, 19 June 2012 – According to UNICEF’s estimates, 127,000 children will be at risk of severe acute malnutrition, a deadly condition, in Chad this year, part of the broader food and nutrition crisis afflicting the Sahel region of Africa.
In Mauritania, UNICEF and partners provide integrated assistance to Malian refugees
M’BERA, Mauritania, 12 June 2012 – In February, 2-year-old Habibi was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition, a life-threatening condition.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo calls for help in the Sahel
NEW YORK, USA, 11 June 2012 – As conditions in the Sahel region of Africa continue to worsen, international recording artist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo has added her voice to the movement to save the lives of more than 1 million children under age 5 who are at risk of deadly severe acute malnutrition.
Donated UPS flight brings life-saving supplies to crisis-affected communities in Mauritania
NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, 6 June 2012 – Mauritania continues to face its worst lean season in years. Twenty-five per cent of households are food insecure, and 52 per cent of those are severely food insecure. Many children are now suffering from malnutrition and many more are expected to be affected before the end of the lean season in late September.
In Chad, finding long-term solutions to the nutrition crisis
MAO, Chad, 4 June 2012 – “My other children were able to walk when they were 8 months old, but not Ereta,” said Zaïnabou Mamataya. At 8 months, Ereta weighed only 2.6 kg and was admitted to hospital in Nokou, Western Chad's Kanem Region.
Nigerien women take the lead in implementing practices to protect their families during the nutrition crisis
GARIN GOULBI, Niger, 29 May 2012 – In Garin Goulbi, a small village more than 500 kilometres from Niger’s capital, women have taken the lead in protecting their families and community during the country’s dire food security and nutrition crisis, which has left more than six million people across Niger facing food shortages.
As nutrition crisis intensifies, Nigerien mothers struggle to save their children
NIAMEY, Niger, 17 May 2012 – In the nutrition ward of Niamey’s regional hospital, all the beds are full of children showing the familiar signs of severe acute malnutrition: severe wasting, skins stretched tight over bones. The room is silent except for the noise of a small fan and the occasional cry of a child.
In Mali, community health programmes put malnourished children on the road to recovery
BAMAKO, Mali, 22 May 2012 – You wouldn’t think it to look at her, but Bintou Traoré is 18 months old. She is very small for her age because her little body has not had enough nutrients to grow normally.
Ewan McGregor issues appeal for the children of the Sahel
NEW YORK, USA, 21 May 2012 – As aid agencies warn of a major funding shortage for the crisis in the Sahel, actor and UNICEF Ambassador Ewan McGregor has added his voice to those calling for more help for the region.
Teaming up to turn the tide against malnutrition in Niger
NIAMEY, Niger, 11 May 2012 – Chronic food insecurity and malnutrition are mainstays of everyday life for thousands of families in Niger. Following the failed rains and poor harvests of 2011, the country is now in the midst of its third nutrition crisis since 2005.
Podcast #58: Mia Farrow on visiting the crisis-afflicted Sahel region
NEW YORK, USA, 3 May 2012 – Poor harvests, drought and high food prices, combined with increasing insecurity, have pushed the Sahel region into a malnutrition crisis. Some 15 million people in the region are directly affected, including over one million children under age 5 who are expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition, a life-threatening condition, this year.
Field diary: Journey to recovery from severe acute malnutrition in Niger
AGUIE, Niger, 1 May 2012 – Two-and-half year old Oumarou Seydou sat motionless in his mother’s arms. He was not smiling or crying. He did not move.
Mia Farrow appeals for aid on behalf of children in the Sahel
NEW YORK, USA, 1 May 2012 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow has issued an urgent appeal on behalf of a million children in the Sahel whose lives are threatened by severe acute malnutrition
Q&A with Professor Michael Golden: Tackling malnutrition in Mauritania
NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, 30 April 2012 – In the world of nutrition, Professor Michael Golden is something of a celebrity. Mr. Golden is famous for his work in developing Formula 100 (F-100), the basis for therapeutic foods that treat malnutrition.
UPS helps UNICEF deliver life-saving supplies to drought-hit Mauritania
Nouakchott, Mauritania, 23 April 2012 – At 10:40 Sunday morning, a UPS flight carrying 46,000 kg of live-saving UNICEF supplies touched down in Nouakchott, Mauritania. It was the first dedicated cargo flight of UNICEF supplies shipped to Mauritania, donated by UPS in cooperation with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
In Niger, children are forced to drop out of school to support their families
NIAMEY, Niger, 20 April 2012 – Only a few months ago, 12-year-old Oumar Soumana was happily living with his family in Damana, in south-western Niger. But when the village’s food stocks were depleted – a result of the massive food crisis occurring throughout the Sahel region of Africa – he was forced to leave home and travel to the capital in search of work.
Selena Gomez calls for life-saving action on behalf of children in the Sahel
NEW YORK, USA, 19 April 2012 – Actress, recording artist, designer and UNICEF Ambassador Selena Gomez is lending her star power to UNICEF’s campaign to save lives in the Sahel region of West and Central Africa.
Global experts discuss how early action can help avert famine
FLORENCE, Italy, 18 April 2012 – The famine in the Horn of Africa and the unfolding crisis in the Sahel have sparked renewed debate on the underlying causes of such disasters, the tipping points and solutions.
UNICEF Deputy Executive Director visits Niger, calls for swift action on crisis in the Sahel
MARADI/NIAMEY, Niger, 13 April 2012 – UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Yoka Brandt called for urgent and enhanced action to save the lives of over one million children at risk of life-threatening severe acute malnutrition across the Sahel region. Ms. Brandt recently visited Niger, where an estimated 394,000 under-5 children will need treatment for severe acute malnutrition this year.
In Chad, UNICEF and partners step up emergency response to food crisis
N’DJAMENA, Chad, 11 April 2012 – Khadija’s 6-month-old son, Nawal, had been suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea for days, but she thought it was related to his teething. Finally, when his fever did not go down, she brought him to a clinic in N’Djamena, where he was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition.
Field Diary: Niger’s children under siege from the worsening nutrition crisis
MARADI, Niger, 11 April 2012 – Walking through the door into the intensive care ward, I am struck by sensory overload – children’s cries come seemingly from every direction; medical staff buzzing around me, inserting a feeding tube here, testing for malaria there; and an oppressive 40 degree Celsius heat from which there is no escape.
Families in Mali struggle to feed themselves as the crisis in the Sahel worsens
NEW YORK, USA, 9 April 2012 – It’s dinner time in the fishing village of Tako, and Mariam Dianapo is worried about how to feed her five hungry children.
UNICEF Executive Director visits Chad to highlight looming crisis in Sahel
NEW YORK, USA, 4 April 2012 – UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake has called for an urgent escalation in humanitarian efforts in the Sahel region of Africa to prevent the deaths of more than 1 million children.
UNICEF is raising funds to provide life-saving assistance to over 1 million at-risk children in the Sahel
NEW YORK, USA, 2 April 2012 – As the hunger season begins in the Sahel region of Africa, UNICEF is launching a massive fund-raising campaign to help the more than 1 million children in danger of dying from severe acute malnutrition.
Sound the Alarm - One million children at risk in the Sahel
More than a million children in the Sahel region of West and Central Africa are currently at risk of becoming severely malnourished. Below is a collection of videos, images and discussions about the current situation in the Sahel and what UNICEF is doing to help.
UNICEF and partners prepare for the worst of the nutrition crisis in the Sahel region
NEW YORK, USA, 26 March 2012 – A time bomb is ticking in the Sahel. April marks the beginning of the region’s lean season. It rains only once a year in the Sahel, an arid region that stretches across eight countries in West-Central Africa.
In Mauritania, UNICEF and partners are providing critical assistance amid overlapping refugee and nutrition crises
FASSALA, Mauritania, 27 March 2012 – For Nanni Oueled Faghi and her 2-year-old grandson, Habibi, the journey from their home in Léré, Mali, to the border town of Fassala, Mauritania, was long and dangerous. By the time they arrived in Mauritania, Habibi was suffering from diarrhoea and severe malnutrition.
In Niger, refugees from Mali are assisted with clean drinking water
MANGAIZÉ, Niger, 22 March 2012 – For the displaced families in the Mangaizé settlement site, located in a dry, empty stretch of the Sahel, access to clean drinking water is a matter of survival. Over 35,000 refugees and returnees have come to Niger seeking safety from the ongoing fighting in northern Mali.
In Niger, UNICEF and partners address the Sahel Region's looming food crisis
OUALLAM/ NIAMEY, Niger, 13 March 2012 – When Zelika, 2, was admitted to a hospital three weeks ago with severe acute malnutrition, her odds of survival were low. But her life was saved after intensive nutritional and medical care in a treatment centre in Ouallam.
UNICEF races to prevent a major food crisis in the Sahel
NEW YORK, 24 February 2012 – UNICEF is racing to prevent a second major food crisis in Africa in less than a year.
Hunger season comes early for Chad's most vulnerable
N’DJAMENA, Chad, 22 February 2012 – At a medical clinic outside of Bol, a town in Chad’s Lac Region, I recently met Adama Abdulai – a 30-year-old mother of six. Her 3-year-old son Abdou was being treated for severe acute malnutrition; at eight kilograms, Abdu weighed roughly the same amount as his 9-month-old brother.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow visits malnourished children in Chad
MAO, Chad, 15 February 2012 – A layer of dust cloaks the horizon around Mao, a town in Western Chad, deep in the Sahel region of Africa. Rain hasn't fallen in years, and four seasons of crops have failed. Animals have long been dying here, but lately, children have too.
In Mauritania, help needed to protect children from emerging malnutrition crisis
GAET TEIDOUMA, Mauritania, 15 February 2012 – Each year, the period between the rains and the new harvest is a lean season, when mothers like Fatima Mohammed struggle to feed their children – in Ms. Mohammed’s case, seven of them.
In Niger, urgent measures needed to fight malnutrition among children
MARADI, Niger, 13 February 2012 – Four-year-old Bassira was motionless in her hospital bed while a tube running through her nose delivered nutrient-rich therapeutic milk to her body – treatment for severe acute malnutrition.
Food shortages force children to drop out of school in Niger
NIAMEY, Niger, 6 February 2012 – The effect of food insecurity on children’s health is obvious; children, particularly those under age 5, are vulnerable to life-threatening malnutrition.
A 'children's crisis' unfolds in West and Central Africa's Sahel region
NEW YORK, USA, 27 December 2011 – Even as the battle against hunger continues in the drought-hit Horn of Africa, another crisis has begun to unfold in eight countries across West Africa.
Threat of malnutrition dire in Africa's Sahel region due to increasing food shortages
DAKAR, Senegal, 12 December 2011 – It’s not a tsunami or an earthquake – it is a predictable emergency. UNICEF estimates more than a million children under five will need to be treated in feeding centres for severe malnutrition in the Sahel region of Africa. It is a staggeringly high number, and there is little time to prepare.