$2bn needed to combat Sahel hunger

2014-02-04 07:41
A Somali mother holding her child in Mogadishu's Banadir hospital where dozens of malnourished children have been hospitalised with severe malnutrition. (Otto Bakano, AFP)

A Somali mother holding her child in Mogadishu's Banadir hospital where dozens of malnourished children have been hospitalised with severe malnutrition. (Otto Bakano, AFP)

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Dakar - The United Nations is seeking $2bn this year to combat food insecurity in Africa's Sahel region, where 1.2 million people have been forced to flee their homes because of violence.

The UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos announced the appeal in Rome on Monday, saying "more people than ever" were at risk of hunger.

The UN defines the Sahel as a nine-country region stretching from Chad to Senegal. It says 20 million people in the region are at risk of food insecurity, with 2.5 million needing "urgent lifesaving food assistance".

Besides instability in countries like Nigeria and Mali, population growth and high food prices are contributing to the problem.

According to the UN, five million children younger than 5 in the region will suffer from malnutrition this year.

- AP
Read more on:    unhcr  |  valerie amos  |  senegal  |  chad  |  west africa
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