Children and mothers are especially vulnerable to the ongoing drought and food crisis in the Sahel. The latest funding update from the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) shows that only 44% of the US$1.6 billion required to combat the encroaching hunger has been raised. Based on the number of people at risk (at least 18 million), the amount needed per capita is US$86. Because the number of people in need is expected to increase, all the member agencies of the HUMANITARIAN COALITION are scaling up their programs in the Sahel.<br/>Credit: Nicolas Moyer/HUMANITARIAN COALITION According to the UN, more than 390,000 children are at risk of malnutrition in Niger. This is the equivalent of the entire population of Halifax. Save the Children is preparing to participate in the distribution of 627 tons of seed to 211 villages in Niger. Save the Children is providing care to more than 3,000 malnourished children in Niger. <br/>Credit: Save the Children Canada Fatima is 15 years old. She is both a child and a mother. Her village in Mauritania is very dry, which means that she has to go further and further for water. This is not easy since she is expecting her second child. Fatima has had to drop out of school. According to the latest World Bank statistics for Mauritania, while more girls than boys are enrolled in primary school, only 40% of girls pursue education beyond high-school. The ongoing drought crisis is forcing more and more children out of school as parents hope they will help in the search for food<br/>Credit: Save the Children Canada This Middle Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) colour-coded bracelet is wrapped around a child’s bicep to measure levels of malnutrition in Cameroun. In the case of severe acute malnutrition (level red), the circle is the size of a toonie. According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 11.8% of children under five in the Far-North of Cameroun suffer from severe acute malnutrition.<br/>Credit: Plan Canada Miriam Diande is 22 months old and she weighs 11 pounds. In Canada, a typical newborn girl weighs 8.2 pounds and will reach, on average, 27 pounds by the time she is 22 months old. Miriam is getting care at the Centre de Récupération et d'éducation Nutritionnelle (Centre for Rehabilitation and Nutritional Education) run by Plan in Kongousse, Burkina Faso.<br/>Credit: Plan Canada Khadija Mohamad, 24, carries a carton of plumpy nut, a high-nutrient supplement, in the village of Warshika, in eastern Chad. CARE distributed food for 2,520 people in this area, including 336 malnourished children. The plumpy nut paste is very effective because it requires no preparation, and is easy to use without special instructions. In Niger, all plumpy nut is produced domestically, which contributes to the local economy.<br/>Credit: CARE Canada An estimated 300,000 children die in the Sahel every year from causes directly linked to malnutrition. This year, with a gross cereal production deficit of 2.5 million metric tons, even more children are at risk. Meals have to be stretched and shared. This one, prepared by  Adjitti Mahamat  in Chad,  feeds ten children. It is their only meal of the day. Having been in the country for 45 years, Oxfam's programs combine a long-term approach with an emergency response that includes targeted food distribution, agricultural support, and the rehabilitation of wells.<br/>Credit: Oxfam
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