from ISSOUF TRAORE in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
OUAGADOUGOU, (CAJ News) – HUMANITARIAN agencies are battling cash shortages to save 1,5 million children facing a nutrition crisis in Burkina Faso.
This equates to over one-third of children aged under five in the West African country.
Currently, nearly 13 million people are facing a lack of food in Burkina Faso, nearly half of them are children.
This is attributed to violence that has displaced hundreds of thousands of people, worsening the plight of children.
The insecurity in rural areas means that many families cannot work their fields or keep their animals.
These are the two main sources of income and food.
Youths also fear attacks or recruitment by armed groups.
Eric Hazard, interim director for Save the Children in Burkina Faso, warned of the repercussions.
“The consequences of malnutrition could have a major impact on the whole country. Children are the next generation. The time to act is now,” Hazard said.
According to the United Nations, more than $600 million (8,7 billion) is needed to meet the growing humanitarian needs in Burkina Faso.
In the first three months of 2021 only 3,7 percent of this budget has been covered.
For specific nutrition needs, only $2,8 million out of $46,4 million has been secured, leaving a huge funding gap.
“We must focus on malnourished children, as their wellbeing, their futures or sometimes even their lives are at risk,” Hazard said.
Burkina Faso is under siege from armed Isamist groups making the country of more than 20 million people ungovernable.
– CAJ News