Malnutrition in Niger has reached a critical point. The United Nations has sounded an alarm over the situation and says that malnutrition among children in the country has reached the maximum threshold.
According to the UN’s Office of Humanitarian Affairs in Niamey, the prevalence rate of acute malnutrition continues to fluctuate around 15%, corresponding to the emergency threshold set by the World Health Organisation.
The UN agency further revealed that between January and April, there were more than 176,000 children out of which 65,000 suffering severe malnutrition had been treated in nutritional health facilities. The agency estimates that there are about 1.1 million children suffering from malnutrition who can be treated in the nutritional health facilities.
The rate of malnutrition in the West African country has continued to deteriorate over the last 3 years. In 2013, it was estimated at 13.3% and increased to 14.8% in 2014 eventually to 15% in 2015, a trend that the country’s ministry of health attributes to lack of clean drinking water and poor hygiene.
The most affected regions are Zinder, Diffa, Maradi and Dosso. This comes at a time when the UN is facing low mobilization of funds to finance all its humanitarian programmes in the country.
It has been able to mobilize about $79 million dollars out of the $316 million it requires.