2.4M people food insecure in Africa's Sahel region: UN
Some 2.4 million people are food secure in Africa’s Central Sahel region, the UN said in a report on Friday.
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The region which includes the three states of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger also has 20 million people living in armed conflict, it added.
“Conflict is moving forward and moving fast,” Margot van der Velden, director of the World Food Programme's emergencies division, was quoted as saying in the report.
“Parts of Burkina Faso -- where conflict has spiralled all year -- are in a state of freefall as the threat of violence from armed groups forces people in rural areas to flee,” read the report.
Highlighting the huge increase in the number of displaced people in the region, the report said: “In January there were about 60,000 people displaced, now there are around 600,000, (..) a further 250,000 are displaced across Mali and Niger, with the total figure for the region set to reach 1 million in coming weeks.”
In many conflict-hit regions, schools are shutting and one in three children are out-of-school, it added.
“At the moment what we’re seeing is that people go further south in search of two things -- safety and ‘keeping my kids in school’," Alexandre Le Cuziat, an emergencies division desk officer with WFP, who has just returned from the region was quoted as saying in the report.
“A disrupted peace process and lawlessness in the northern and central regions, has left more than 100,000 people displaced within Mali, 220,000 in Burkina Faso, and 400,000 in Niger -- a transnational crisis which the UN chief described as 'a regional threat',” said the UN while highlighting the situation in the Sahel region earlier in September.