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Report: Malnutrition to rise fivefold in Burkina Faso as rainy season approaches

Report: Malnutrition to rise fivefold in Burkina Faso as rainy season approaches
May 13
20:54 2024

Save the Children International (SCI), a charity organisation, says the number of children in Burkina Faso facing emergency levels of hunger will increase fivefold by mid-year.

In a statement on Monday, the charity organisation said the approaching rainy season would worsen the humanitarian crisis in the West African country without an urgent injection of food assistance.

The organisation said insecurity, the approaching lean season between harvests, and rising food prices mean many do not know where their next meal will come from.

Citing figures from the Cadre Harmonisé – a regional framework to identify food and nutrition insecurity in the Sahel and West Africa, SCI said the number of children facing emergency levels of hunger will rise from under 40,000 currently to about 210,000.

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The report also predicted that 1.4 million children in Burkina Faso — or one in every seven children — will face at least crisis levels of hunger between June and August.

Burkina Faso has been affected by years of conflict, extreme poverty, and rising food insecurity.

The attacks have prevented children from going to school, where many would have otherwise been able to access a meal, owing to various development programmes.

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As of the end of March, over 5,300 schools in Burkina Faso were closed due to insecurity.

With temperatures in the Sahel rising faster than the global average, the country is also at the forefront of the climate crisis, which is having a disastrous impact on crops, food production, and the livelihoods of children and families.

Around 131,500 pregnant and breastfeeding women were projected to likely experience high levels of acute malnutrition.

“As communities try to cope with rising rates of hunger, rising violence, and the negative effects of climate change, children are bearing the brunt on all fronts,” Benoit Delsarte, SCI country director for Burkina Faso, said.

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“Families are resorting to extreme measures like pulling their children out of school, as well as child marriage.”

The country director called on international donors to urgently step up their support for Burkina Faso to prevent an already dire situation from worsening.

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