Dakar, 11 November 2020 – As part of the response to COVID-19, China has donated a US$1 million grant to Senegal to accelerate UNICEF's efforts to improve the treatment of children suffering from severe wasting. Senegal is one of six countries receiving financial support within the framework of the China-UNICEF cooperation against COVID-19 through China’s South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund.
This funding will allow UNICEF to continue its support to the Government of Senegal's efforts in the management of severe wasting through the provision of nutrition supplies such as ready-to-use therapeutic foods, therapeutic milk and essential medicine. Through this support, more than 17,000 children under the age of five will benefit from adequate treatment. At least five regions in the North and East of Senegal that are most affected by severe wasting will be targeted, including Diourbel, Louga, Matam, Tambacounda and Saint Louis. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the risk of malnutrition among children due to the deterioration in the quality of their food, lack of access to nutrition and other health care services, and the shocks caused by the pandemic. In Senegal, the number of children under five years suffering from severe wasting could increase from 91,000 to over 108,000. Wasting is an extreme form of malnutrition that carries an immediate and increased risk of morbidity and mortality. "We must act and refuse to allow COVID-19, hunger and malnutrition to become a vicious cycle impacting the lives of children from the most vulnerable households," said Silvia Danailov, UNICEF Representative in Senegal. "This grant will contribute to improving child survival and we are grateful to China for mobilizing significant funds to support our efforts alongside the Government," added Ms. Danailov.
His Excellency Mr. XIAO Han, the Chinese Ambassador to Senegal praised the work of UNICEF around the world and in Senegal and expressed his country's pride in establishing partnerships with the United Nations to support other countries. "China is committed to working closely with UNICEF to ensure the smooth implementation of this funding for the benefit of the children of Senegal," said H.E. XIAO.
 Joint regional analysis by UNICEF and WFP, 2020.
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