translated from Spanish: More than 5 million hungry people in the Sahel threatened by COVID-19

Nairobi.- More than five million people face «serious food insecurity» in the Sahel in an «out of control» humanitarian crisis and under the threat of coronavirus, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) warned today.» The dramatic increase in the number of hungry people comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading to fragile countries in a region that hosts the world’s weakest health systems,» WFP said in a statement.

Somali family suffers drought and clashes in the country, on the outskirts of Mogadishu AFP

In Burkina Faso, the highest-reported sub-Saharan African country of Korovirus (16), the number of hungry people by June is expected to triple to 2.1 million, compared to 680,000 last year at this time.» People are on the edge of the abyss. We must step forward now to save lives. We are the only hope for millions» of people, said WFP Regional Director for West Africa Chris Nikoi.» Our message to the world is clear: look the other way now and the consequences will be catastrophic at the very least,» Nikoi added.
In the Central Sahel, a region spanning Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, the situation is «extremely worrying,» as the number of hungry people «steadily increases as the crisis grows, also pushing 1.3 million people in Mali and 2 million people in Niger to food insecurity,» according to the World Food Programme.» More support is needed to address the crisis, especially as the threat of COVID-19 threatens life-saving humanitarian work,» concluded WFP, which needs $208 million until next August to undertake its operations.

Healthmakers visit village in Kenya, Africa AFP

So far, coronavirus has reached up to 49 African countries in the continent’s 54, including those of the Sahel (which are also on the onslaught of jihadist terrorism), and has led to more than 6,500 contagions and some 240 deaths. Efe

Original source in Spanish

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