• New report finds families’ inability to withstand shocks lies at heart of persistent food crises
• Governments and donors must act now to save more than one million children at risk in the Sahel
• Make improved nutrition in children the benchmark for success in all programmes, say World Vision and Save the Children
Millions of families in West Africa are now living through a permanent food crisis, a new report published today warns.
Ending the Everyday Emergency, a study by World Vision and Save the Children, says the recent food emergency in the Sahel region of West Africa, has put over a million children at risk of severe malnutrition.
In reality it is a spike in a wider chronic crisis permanently engulfing the region. An inability to access, grow and store food year after year is the main driving force behind the number of children dying in the poorest region of the world.
Even in a non-crisis year, children in parts of West Africa face the deadly and debilitating effects of malnutrition at higher rates than many others around the world.
Justin Byworth, Chief Executive of World Vision UK said:
“I was in West Africa earlier this year and saw again just how crucial it is that we put more emphasis on safety nets and resilience for children so that we can stop what is now an everyday emergency for them and their families.”
“We know how harmful childhood malnutrition is and the long term damage it does and it’s that we are determined to stop. So that’s why we are calling for united and lasting solutions to end childhood hunger and malnutrition now.”
Justin Forsyth, Chief Executive of Save the Children said:
“We will continue to lurch from crisis to crisis unless we address the underlying drivers of hunger that children in the Sahel face every single year. Millions of children around the world are living a step away from starvation, leaving them vulnerable to being pushed into life-threatening hunger by failed rains, rising food prices and conflict.”
“The Olympic hunger summit next month must bring together governments from around the world to address the causes of hunger and break the cycles that have given rise to this perpetual crisis in the Sahel and elsewhere.”
The report highlights the benefits of how taking a comprehensive approach to resilience can improve child well being, and move the Sahel towards dramatically reduced rates of hunger and malnutrition.
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30 July 2012