The world must act now to reverse the situation in Africa’s central Sahel region, where humanitarian needs are at “a breaking point”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told a high-level conference on Tuesday to address the burgeoning crisis.
In a pre-recorded address on Thursday to the UN General Assembly, Mahamadou Issoufou, the President of Niger, stressed that only international action can restore security in the strife-torn African regions of the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin, and expressed serious concern about the situation in Mali.
Humanitarians have stepped up assistance to communities “on the brink”, who have been affected by devastating flooding in Africa’s Sahel region, where several hundred thousand people have been displaced by seasonal rains.
Food insecurity levels in the Sahel region are “spiralling out of control”, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Thursday, as it expressed concerns about the potential impact on humanitarian supply chains because of restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Malnutrition, disease, floods, droughts and displacement in Niger have put nearly three million people, more than half of them children, in need of humanitarian assistance, UNICEF said on Wednesday, calling for increased attention to their plight.