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U.N. Humanitarian Relief Official Calls For More Assistance To Prevent Child Malnutrition In Mali

“The top United Nations relief official said [.pdf] today that humanitarian efforts to alleviate the devastating food crisis affecting Mali have begun to yield results, but warned that much still remains to be done and the situation could worsen without continued donor support,” the U.N. News Centre reports (8/30). Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos “on Thursday called for more resources in Mali to save children from severe malnutrition,” Agence France-Presse reports. The widespread food crisis in the Sahel region is compounded in Mali by a militant insurgency in the north of the country, according to the news agency. “The food crisis, which follows a drought in 2011, has affected 4.6 million people in Mali alone,” and “[a]lmost 150,000 children across Mali have been treated for acute malnutrition … this year,” the news agency writes (8/30).

“We are saving lives here, but we must do more. It only costs around $100 to prevent a child from dying from severe acute malnutrition. But we also have to tackle the root causes of this crisis so that mothers in Mali, and the wider Sahel region, can have confidence in the future for themselves and their children,” Amos said in a press release from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The press release notes, “Although aid organizations are providing support throughout the country, insecurity, limited access and funding are affecting the response” (8/30).