In 2022, 6.3 million children aged 6 to 59 months would could be lost in Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal, according to a new analysis.
According to UN agencies, almost 1.4 million children in these six nations in Africa’s Sahel area would suffer from severe wasting, according to a research released in March 2022.
According to a document published by the West and Central Africa Regional Nutrition Working Group, the number of children under the age of five suffering from acute malnutrition in the region would be at an all-time high in 2022.
The core Sahel countries of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger will account for about 70% of children under the age of five with wasting, according to the working group.
According to the Central and West Africa Nutrition Working Group, at least 900,000 young lives could be jeopardized in the six nations covered by the 2021 nutritional survey.
The countrywide prevalence of stunting in Burkina Faso and Mali surpasses the high threshold of 20%: 21.9 percent in Mali and 21.6 percent in Burkina Faso, according to the survey results.
According to the research, Chad had a countrywide prevalence of 30.4 percent while Niger had a prevalence of 43.5 percent.
According to the authors of the research, drought and poor precipitation patterns have diminished local people’ food sources, particularly in the central Sahel, as well as conflict and instability.
This is when the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a negative impact on the region’s household livelihoods.
Mamadou Diop, Action Against Hunger’s regional representative for Central and West Africa, said:
And now, the Ukraine crisis is causing food price inflation, putting even more pressure on populations already suffering from the crises: serious diet and health insecurity is on the horizon if we do not act now in all hotspots.
The working group was formed by the United Nations Children’s Foundation, the International Fund For agricultural development, the World Health Organization, and non-governmental organizations like Action Against Hunger, Save the Children, and Concern.
According the working group, $93.4 million is needed to prevent wasting in youngsters and also pregnant and nursing moms. Nevertheless, there seems to be a $56.2 million budget shortfall, with $26.3 million set aside to address demands during the lean season, which runs from June through September.
According to the research, Nigeria has a $14.5 million financing shortfall, followed by Cameroon ($8.5 million), Chad ($7.9 million), Niger ($7.2 million), and the Central African Republic ($5.9 million).
To increase the resiliency of systems, communities, and people in the Sahel, all stakeholders, including governments, funders, and development partners, must pay immediate attention to the nutrition situation.
The condition of the piping system for Prepared Therapeutic Foods (RUTF), an existence crucial supply item that can damage severe wasting in children under the age of five, revealed that there are still significant gaps to protect the estimated annual needs for the diagnosis of children with severe wasting.
According to the latest report, if the holes in the RUTF pipeline are not repaired, at least 900,000 children’s lives will be jeopardized by 2022.
The Alliance for International Medical Action has developed a Sahel emergency fund to help children suffering from severe malnutrition get the supplies they need.