As you may have seen in the news, the Sahel region of West Africa is in the grips of a severe food crisis. Merlin is responding quickly and effectively. But we need your help.
A combination of low rainfall, poor local harvests, high food prices and continuing conflict have left more than 10 million people facing food insecurity, with over one million children at risk of severe acute malnutrition.
Food crisis: the facts
- 1 million children are at risk of severe malnutrition
- 10 million people are at risk
- Life-threatening malaria and cholera are rife
Ready to respond
Merlin’s medical experts are already on the ground in Chad, one of the areas most affected by the crisis.
Our Emergency Response Team has been in country since February, assessing the local health system and planning how Merlin can best respond to the needs of the local population, both now and in the long term.
They have found a health system unable to respond adequately to even the most basic health needs of its population, let alone the increasing demands resulting from the current food crisis.
Those most vulnerable include young children, breastfeeding mothers and pregnant women. In Chad alone, over 127,000 children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition.
The country is dogged by disease, cholera is already endemic across the country, while malaria is said to account for at least one child death in every five.
Having determined the true extent of the crisis in Chad, Merlin is planning to work in the Hadjer Lamis Region of West Chad, targeting the most vulnerable people first – including 75,833 children under five and 17,500 pregnant and lactating women.
Merlin aims to increase these people’s access to essential health care and nutrition services, as well as boosting the capacity of local health systems to respond to disease outbreaks themselves.
Anna Walton, who is heading up Merlin’s Emergency Response Team, told us “our Emergency Response Team is ready to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable populations caught up in this crisis”.
With your support, we can make sure our medical experts are ready to respond to this crisis. Please donate to Merlin today.