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Act Now ‘To Prevent Tragedy’ In Africa’s Sahel Food Security Crisis

“The world appears reluctant to open its wallets to relief organizations dedicated to saving the lives of Africa’s children until it’s official. They want the United Nations to declare a famine,” a Globe and Mail editorial states. “UNICEF is to be credited for its preemptive global effort to break this tragic cycle of paralysis and delayed response in the case of the Sahel,” where “[o]ne million children are currently at risk of dying of acute malnutrition,” the editorial continues, and highlights a fundraising campaign launched by the organization last week, called #SahelNOW.

“UNICEF’s campaign asks users of Facebook, Twitter and other social media to spread the word, and fund the organization, which has the technology, logistical ability and staff, to treat these children and help them recover from the reversible effects of severe, acute malnutrition,” the editorial writes, noting, “UNICEF needs about $120 million to tackle the crisis in Sahel, of which it has raised only one-quarter.” The editorial compares the situation in the Sahel to a famine in early spring of 2011, where “relief workers in Somalia were warning of the impending crisis, to little effect,” and concludes, “This situation is now being replicated in the Sahel. … People should be galvanized to act to prevent the tragedy, not just wait for it to happen” (4/8).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.