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World News | UN: West Africa suffers worst hunger crisis in a decade, leaving millions without aid

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ABUJA (Nigeria), July 5 (Xinhua) — The United Nations World Food Program said Wednesday that millions of hungry people in West Africa are without assistance, and that the agency has limited funds to tackle the region’s worst hunger crisis in a decade.

Nearly half of the 11.6 million people who received food assistance during the lean season between June and August received no assistance, the agency said in a statement.

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It warns that hundreds of thousands are at risk of joining armed groups, marrying early or engaging in “survival sex” to survive.

“We are in a dire situation. Millions of households will not have enough food stocks to last through this year’s lean season,” said Margot Vandervelden, WFP’s interim regional director for West Africa. They have until the next harvest in September. “We must act now to prevent catastrophic consequences at scale. “Hungry,” she said.

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Even before last year’s floods and Russia’s war in Ukraine, West Africa was already facing its worst food crisis in a decade, with more than 27 million people going hungry, largely due to conflict but also due to drought and the impact of COVID-19. The economic impact of the pandemic.

During this year’s lean season, when hunger is at its peak, food insecurity in West and Central Africa is affecting 47.2 million people, with women and children the most vulnerable, the World Food Program said.

“Malnutrition rates have also risen sharply, with 16.5 million children under the age of five expected to be severely malnourished this year, an 83 percent increase over the 2015-2022 average,” the agency said.

In the central Sahel countries of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, the death toll of jihadists is mounting, with UN agencies estimating that the number of people fleeing the violence has almost quadrupled, from 30,000 in January to 110,000 in June.

Adds van der Velden: “We need a two-track approach to ending hunger in the Sahel – we must address acute hunger through humanitarian aid, and at the same time through increased investment in resilient food systems and expanded government social protection. programs to address the structural causes of food insecurity.” (AP)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a syndicated news feed, the latest staff may not have modified or edited the body of content)


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