When a million children can be saved from life-threatening malnutrition, I believe itâ€™s our duty to alert the world and ask for help.Â Â Many of you agree, and this week, you sounded the alarm for children facing aÂ massive food crisis in the Sahel region of Africa.
Unlike an earthquake or a tsunami, this crisis did not occur instantly; however, it is very much the result of natural causes.Â Â We know that current food supplies are extremely limited and new crops will not yield enough to feed the people in the region.
At present, UNICEF estimates that one million children are in immediate danger of severe acute malnutrition.Â If we wait for the situation to deteriorate, we are allowing more children to slide further down the spectrum of malnutrition to life-threatening levels.Â Without immediate action, large numbers of children could die for lack of adequate nutrition.Â Many more face irreversible, permanent brain damage and disability.
There are many organizations and agencies working to bring help to the 15 million people affected by the crisis in the Sahel.Â UNICEF is focused on the smallest, the sickest and the most gravely ill – the ones who are so malnourished they are unable to eat regular food. These children require specialized therapeutic food designed to stabilize and nourish them.
We canâ€™t afford to wait until the crisis reaches hideous levels â€“ we can stop this from happening â€“ we can stop children from suffering and dying if we can raise the funds needed to respond to the need.
For all that you did in support of the Sahel’s children this week, we thank you.