Malnutrition emergency in the Sahel: funding cuts are affecting our action

22-11-2021

Faced with an alarming increase in cases of child malnutrition in several of its regions of intervention, ALIMA (The Alliance for International Medical Action) and its partners are sounding the alarm to alert the public about the nutritional crisis that is sweeping through Africa’s Sahel Region and the urgent need for mobilization to treat children under the age of 5, who are greatly at risk.

“Today, our teams are suffering from budget cuts,” warns Dr. Moumouni Kinda, ALIMA’s Executive Director. “In Chad, for example, the lack of funding is leading to a shortage of therapeutic food, which is essential for the treatment of children suffering from acute malnutrition.”

Faced with this exceptional situation, ALIMA has launched a Sahel emergency fund to raise funds as quickly as possible to purchase essential supplies for children suffering from acute malnutrition.

According to a report by OCHA, food insecurity in the Sahel has increased by 76% since 2019. This is due in part to the impact of COVID-19, as well as increased insecurity related to armed conflict, and climate change.

“This situation is unacceptable,” says Dr. Moumouni Kinda, ALIMA’s Executive Director. “In Niger alone, nearly 20,000 children are waiting for our teams to treat them.”

 

A plea by Ousmane Ahmat Mahamat, nurse supervisor for ALIMA/Alerte Santé at the Therapeutic Nutritional Unit in N’Djamena, Chad’s capital city.

Severe acute malnutrition is a major health problem for children under 5 years of age, which can increase a small child’s risk of dying by a factor of 9.

“Given the magnitude of the situation, resources are lacking and we must urgently mobilize the necessary resources to increase our health care capacity in the most affected areas,” adds ALIMA’s Executive Director.

Since 2009, ALIMA has been a major player in the care of children suffering from acute malnutrition in West and Central Africa, with more than 10 dedicated projects in the region, 400 dedicated hospital beds, and 110,000 children treated each year.

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Cover photo: © Thibaut Payré

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