Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Sahel Suffers

 Over 30 million inhabitants of the Sahel region, most of whom are women and children, require life-saving assistance and protection in 2022, an increase of almost two million from 2021. 

"...About 7,900 schools are closed in the Sahel due to violence, a 56 per cent increase since 2021”, warns Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa. “When refugee and internally displaced children are out of school, they become increasingly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Reported cases of child recruitment, killing and maiming of children, and sexual violence by armed groups and armed forces have been rising; child marriages and early pregnancies among school-age girls are at risk of being further exacerbated by the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic situation and climate change”.

Maureen Magee, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Regional Director for Central and West Africa says, “Insecurity and violence are depriving affected communities of vital services, including access to health, education and water, sanitation, and hygiene services, resulting in a vicious cycle of vulnerability. Aid workers are ever more at risk and have been abducted and killed”.

“While needs are at record highs across the Sahel, resources are at rock bottom, and the cost of responding is skyrocketing forcing us to provide half rations in many countries across the Sahel” said Elvira Pruscini, World Food Program’s Deputy Regional Director for West Africa.

Head of West and Central Africa Office at OCHA, Charles Bernimolin, warns, “By June, only 15 per cent of the required US$3.8 billion has been received to support the humanitarian response plans for Burkina Faso, northern Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger, and north-east Nigeria. This is not enough”.

“Between June and August 2022, over 18.6 million people (15 per cent of the region’s total population) are expected to experience severe food insecurity, including 2.1 million people experiencing emergency levels of food insecurity,” noted the regional representative for West and Central Africa at the international organization Action Contre la Faim, Mamadou Diop.

UN and NGO partners raise the alarm: Over 30 million Sahelians, most of whom are women and children, require life-saving assistance and protection, an increase of almost two million from 2021 [EN/AR] - Burkina Faso | ReliefWeb

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