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Without Scale-Up Of Aid, Africa’s Sahel Region Facing Humanitarian Crisis, U.N. Warns

“Senior United Nations officials [on Tuesday] made impassioned appeals to the international community to make more resources available to assist millions of people affected by the severe food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa, cautioning that global inaction could lead to a humanitarian disaster,” the U.N. News Centre reports (4/10). “UNICEF’s Executive Director Anthony Lake said at least one million — and possibly up to 1.5 million — children in the region face acute, severe malnutrition, putting them at risk of death from starvation or disease,” the Associated Press/Washington Post writes, adding, “Unless donor countries provide more funds, ‘the result will be many children will die and many families will suffer,’ he said” (4/10).

“According to Lake, there is a ‘certain fatigue’ among the public when it comes to the Sahel, suffering its third famine in 10 years,” Agence France-Presse notes. “About 15 million people are affected by malnutrition, … said Lake, and yet a December 2011 appeal for $700 million has so far brought in less than half that amount,” according to AFP (4/10). “The U.N.’s High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, said the situation in the 3,400-mile (5500-kilometer) zone that stretches from the Atlantic to the Red Sea is suffering from lack of attention because of the conflict in Syria,” the AP writes (4/10).