Malnutirition crisis in western Africa

In 2012, the UN estimates that three million children under five are at risk of malnutrition in the Sahel region of north-west Africa.  

Where is Sahel?

Click on the map to zoom  or Jump to video

This is a recurrent problem in the region, which is constantly afflicted with high malnutrition rates; even in 'good years' hundreds of thousands of children are severely malnourished.

Get Adobe Flash player

What MSF is doing?

See our latest news reports:

11.05.2012 Sahel:Fate of 160,000 Malian Refugees hanging in the balance

02.04.12 Sahel Nutritional Crisis: MSF dual response

A malnourished baby receives treatment from MSF.
In the Sahel, MSF has long-running, large programmes reducing the high mortality rates among under fives (treatment and prevention of malnutrition and other 'killer diseases' including malaria). 

In Niger alone, MSF admitted some 104,000 severely malnourished children to its clinics in 2011, and 150,000 in 2010.

As well as treating those who are already ill, we also take a preventative approach: distributing milk-based supplements to children to prevent malnutrition in Niger and Mali and vaccinating against killer diseases.

We are also ramping up our emergency response and sending teams of experts to the areas reportedly most affected in Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Chad and Burkina Faso.

Violence and conflict

In some areas, including Mali and Niger, conflict and violence is making the situation even harder for people.

A child is screened for malnutrition in Chad
10,000 people have been forced to flee northern Mali and are currently seeking refuge in camps in Niger.  MSF is providing medical care in these camps

How can you help?

All our work is currently being paid for from our general emergency funds and at present we have not launched a specific fundraising appeal.

It is these general emergency funds that allow us to act quickly, without waiting for specific donations to arrive.

If you would like to contribute towards this general appeal, please click HERE