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The Guardian UK

When all the men have gone

"...During seasons of hunger thousands of farming families around the world are forced to sell their beloved livestock, their only source of income, and their possessions at extremely low prices so they can afford to buy food. If that fails to provide enough money to last until the next harvest, they are forced to resort to ever more severe methods of coping.

Chad's malnourished children offer stark illustration of Sahel food crisis

"The NGO Action Against Hunger says that, in March alone, it had 68 new admissions to its therapeutic feeding centre in Mao, a dramatic increase compared with February, when they had 27. Therapeutic feeding centres cater for those children worst affected by severe malnutrition, youngsters too sick to eat fortified nut pastes such as Plumpy'nut or Plumpy'doz. Once in the centre, the children receive fortified milk and round-the-clock medical care.

Sahel food crisis has been made worse by the widespread unrest in Africa

"In Mali the strain of fighting Gadaffi-armed Tuareg rebels in the north has prompted a political crisis, leading directly to a military coup and prompting an exodus from besieged villages, exacerbating food shortages. Of the families fleeing the violence, 20% have at least one child suffering from severe acute malnutrition, according to Action Against Hunger (AAH). 'These are families who have had to hastily flee the violence and they don't have access to basic products like clothing, blankets or cooking utensils.

Mali contends with new Tuareg rebellion as food crisis looms

In 2011, late rains, dry spells and low river levels led to a 25% decrease in crop production in Mali, and a 50-60% rise in food prices above the five-year average. As a result, according to the World Food Programme (WFP), around 3 million people in the country are now at risk of food insecurity. Action Against Hunger predicts that by springtime, 175,000 children in Mali could be suffering from acute malnutrition.

UN urged to draw a line between humanitarian and military work

The UN must ensure its humanitarian objectives are not tarnished by associationwith its political and military objectives, or risk more NGOs pulling out of co-ordinated activities, according to a report.

The report, UN integration and humanitarian space, published by the Overseas Development Institute and the Stimson Centre, focused on UN operations in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Central African Republic, Darfur in Sudan, and Liberia.

Undernutrition is more than just a health problem

How then do we politicise undernutrition so that it gets the attention – and solutions – it deserves? It is still a major global problem: about 30% of all infants in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are stunted.

I was recently at a Care and Action Against Hunger event that featured two success stories on the politicisation of nutrition, from Brazil and Peru. The case of Brazil is quite well known, with presidents Cardoso and Lula da Silva both making food security a high priority for their governments.

Somalis seek refuge in Ethiopian camps – in pictures

Families from Somalia walk for days, and even weeks, to reach the Dollo Ado refugee complex in Ethiopia, and arrive exhausted and dehydrated. Hundreds of children and pregnant women are malnourished and need special therapeutic foods to help them to recover.

Series of 13 Photographs. Photo credit: Samuel Hauenstein Swan/Action Against Hunger

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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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