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Niger: UNICEF Urges Help for Sahel's Children

One Year After Hunger Crisis in Niger, UNICEF Urges Help for Sahel’s Children

New York, Aug 9 2006 10:00AM

One year after the international community was mobilized in support of Niger’s food and nutritional crisis, a senior United Nations official in the region is calling for vigilance towards the nutritional vulnerability of children in the Sahel.

“The international community must mobilize both politically and financially, to fight against poverty and child malnutrition in the region of the Sahel,” the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Esther Guluma, said in a statement released in the capital, Niamey.

Ms. Guluma, who recently visited Burkina Faso and Niger, said she saw firsthand how precarious the nutritional status of children is in the Sahel region, calling the situation for all the countries in the region alarming. Malnutrition in children under five years old is above critical levels, while acute malnutrition is 10 per cent in Mali, 11 per cent in Chad, 12 per cent in Mauritania, 14 per cent in Niger and 19 per cent in Burkina Faso.


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