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7.2 million people in Sahel region at risk of imminent hunger

Humanitarian aid

Some 7.2 million people including children under the age of 5 in the Sahel region risk famine according to global NGO, Action Against Hunger.

This is as a result of a combination of factors including armed conflicts and violence in Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal which have had direct impacts on agricultural production.

Despite good harvests in 2015 and 2016, the food situation in these areas is worrisome.

Maintaining humanitarian and food aid remains crucial, according to the NGO, which has warned against the imminent threat of the worsening situation.

Food insecurity and malnutrition figures are already high with the index standing at above 18% in some areas, a figure that exceeds the emergency threshold established by the World Health Organization.

One in 5 children in the Sahel die before the age of 5 years, and one third of these child deaths are associated with malnutrition.