UNICEF UK Ambassador Ralph Fiennes wants help for the children in West Africa. He is calling for an urgent response to the food and nutrition crisis taking place in eight countries across West Africa, including Chad.
Fiennes wrote a blog post for UNICEF stating that he was “alarmed” to hear that a million children could die in the countries across West Africa without immediate treatment and care. He wrote, “It is not a famine, but a very complex food crisis that is the result of a number of factors including drought, rising food prices and poor harvests.”
According to the staff at UNICEF that Fiennes spoke with, the number of one million children at risk was a conservative estimate. In his blog post he reports, “Under extreme conditions, we could see that figure rise to about 1.5 million children who are at risk of death if they do not receive treatment as early as possible.”
Lack of access to clean water, malnutrition, and an early ‘hunger season’ are the causes for concern in West Africa. The people of these eight countries in West Africa experience an annual season dubbed ‘hunger season’ when food from the last harvest runs out. This year the region experienced one of the worst droughts on record which means that more people are at risk of dying, especially children, because the season came early.
As Fiennes states, “It shouldn’t be like this in 2012. We cannot let such crises happen again and again because of a lack of funds.”
Visit UNICEF to donate to West Africa Children’s Appeal.
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