Head of Emergencies for the international children’s charity World Vision – Mark Bulpitt – together with the International Development Minister Stephen O’Brien today met with mothers and children whose lives are being saved in Niger.
“Children in Niger are hanging between hunger and a future harvest,” said Mark Bulpitt following his visit to the Gaweye feeding centre. “Today I saw children at the World Vision assisted feeding centre who are sick; but are being nursed back to good health thanks to feeding,” said Mr Bulpitt.
According to DFID the visit of Minister Stephen O’Brien signals the British Government’s growing concern that the crisis could reach tipping point with up to 1.5 million children facing imminent starvation in the coming months if the world does not take urgent action.
“Britain will not sit back while children starve to death in the Sahel and the feeding centres I will visit prove how our swift and early action is saving lives. The crisis is already desperate and is getting worse. Now is the time for others in the international community to step up,” said Minister Stephen O’Brien before his visit today.
Commenting on his visit Mr O’Brien said “I am pleased to see the effective support that World Vision is giving to malnourished children at the feeding centre.”
World Vision together with DFID recently launched a public appeal aimed at raising millions of pounds towards the food crisis. As a part of this the UK government has promised to match every £1 donated to the World Vision appeal with another £1 to help children and their families rebuild their lives. If every working person in the UK were to give just 17p, £10 million could be raised to help deliver food and medical care to thousands.
More than 18 million people in Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Chad and Senegal do not have enough food to eat. In the drought plagued region, four million hungry children are now at risk of acute malnutrition. One million are at risk of developing severe acute malnutrition.