The Sahel is characterized by long standing chronic food insecurity and malnutrition, poverty and extreme vulnerability to drought. The localized deficit recorded for the agropastoral season 2011/2012 and increasing cereals prices in Mali and Niger could bring millions of people at risk of food insecurity.
Throughout the Sahel, acute malnutrition in children reaches its annual peak during the hunger season. Children under two years of age have the highest risk of becoming sick or dying during this period. Malnutrition is caused by inadequate food quality and quantity, inadequate care, as well as unhealthy household environment and lack of health services.
The prevalence of global acute malnutrition met or exceeded the critical threshold of 10% in all of the surveys conducted in the hunger season of 2011 (from May to August). If food security significantly deteriorates in 2012, the nutrition conditions for children could surpass emergency levels throughout the Sahel region.
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- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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