from ISSOUF TRAORE in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
OUAGADOUGOU, (CAJ News) – MORE people than ever are now in need of humanitarian assistance and protection in the volatile Sahel region.
Some 29 million people in Burkina Faso, northern Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger and north-east Nigeria are affected.
This is 5 million more people than last year
The number of violent attacks increased eight-fold in the Central Sahel and tripled in the Lake Chad basin.
“As the Sahel crisis protracts in time, an entire generation of children is at risk,” said Marie-Pierre Poirier, Regional Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Violence and insecurity are severely disrupting basic social services: nearly 5 000 schools are closed or non-operational, jeopardizing the future of hundreds of thousands of children,.
Some 1,6 million children are projected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition.
“To address the immediate needs of the population while building the foundation for sustainable development, we need a paradigm shift and to act together with the governments and the people of the Sahel,” Poirier said.
The humanitarian community’s financial needs for the Sahel crisis are underfunded.
Only 9 percent of the required US$3,7 billion has been received.
Islamist radicals are behind the crisis in the Sahel.
– CAJ News