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U.N. Appeals For Additional Humanitarian Aid For Sahel Region

“The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says $1 billion is still required for emergency needs in Africa’s Sahel region, which stretches from Senegal in the west to Chad in the east,” VOA News reports. “To date, humanitarian agencies say they have received only about one-third of the requested $1.7 billion needed to help the more than 11 million people in the Sahel who face food insecurity this year,” the news service writes (Lazuta, 7/4). “As of May 2013, 345,000 acutely malnourished children had been treated in U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and NGO-run nutrition centers,” according to IRIN, which adds, “But despite year-on-year nutrition support, surveys show malnutrition rates of over 10 percent in almost all of the countries, and above the 15 percent threshold in parts of Chad, Mauritania and Niger” (7/4). U.N. Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel Robert Piper “said that the agricultural and refugee sectors are particularly underfunded,” VOA notes (7/4). “Other severely underfunded sectors include water and sanitation (11 percent) and health (26 percent), both of which underpin infant nutrition; as well as education (10 percent), and early recovery (8 percent),” IRIN adds (7/4).