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Sahel Crisis: Nutritional Emergency Begins in Chad’s Kanem Region

For months humanitarian actors have sounded the alarm in anticipation of an impending regional food crisis due to shortages, price hikes, and drought. One million children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition. The impact of this slow-onset crisis is now being felt, much earlier and more severely than expected, as populations in Kanem, Western Chad, experience a telling spike in malnutrition rates.

Children dying in Chad as Sahel crisis bites

"Children in western Chad have started dying from malnutrition as a major hunger crisis threatening West Africa begins to take hold, an international charity has warned. Child malnutrition rates have soared in the region of Kanem, which is now in the grip of a full blown emergency, Action Contre La Faim (ACF) said...More than 2,000 children in Kanem were admitted to nutrition treatment centres in February alone, triple the number treated in December, according to ACF.

Malnutrition on the rise: Kanem region of Chad enters food emergency

"More than 2,000 malnourished children were admitted to Action Against Hunger | ACF International’s nutritional centres in Kanem in February alone, which is more than three times the number treated in the same month last year.

CHAD: Fighting malnutrition with “dysfunctional” health sector

"Understanding of the causes of malnutrition is pretty low within the Ministry, said [Dallam] Adoum [of Chad's Ministry of Health]. This was backed up by Céline Bernier, nutrition coordinator at Action Against Hunger (ACF), who said little nutritional surveillance takes place other than that carried out by aid agencies (such as ACF, UNICEF, Médecins Sans Frontières and Worldvision, among others.) 'The government recognizes there is a problem but it doesn’t necessarily know how to fix it,' she told IRIN." 

Cash Transfers a Successful Antidote to Sahel Emergency

Although it may seem counter-intuitive in the context of a humanitarian emergency, money can be one of the most effective mediums for saving lives during emergencies such as that unfolding across the Sahel—a crisis in which three million children are expected to become severely malnourished in the coming months.

A Million Children At Risk of Deadly Malnutrition in the Sahel

More than 10 million people are at risk of food shortages across Africa’s Sahel region, including communities in MauritaniaMali, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, South Sudan, and Ethiopia.

Famine Stalks the Sahel

“Light rains, poor harvests and overpriced food will combine to create a severe famine for five Sahel countries if urgent, large-scale measures are not taken, experts warn.

“‘What is undertaken today will determine whether a new major food crisis will occur’ in the region, said Vincent Taillandier, an official of Action Against Hunger.

“‘But it’s the cumulative effect of the current situation, less than two years after the last big food crisis, which presages the worst crisis since 2005.’”

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About Action Against Hunger | ACF International

Action Against Hunger is internationally recognized as a leader in the fight against global malnutrition. Action Against Hunger works to save the lives of malnourished children while providing communities with access to safe water and sustainable solutions to hunger. With over 30 years of expertise in emergency situations of conflict, natural disaster, and chronic food insecurity, Action Against Hunger runs life-saving programs in some 40 countries benefiting 5 million people each year.

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