Manchester United’s charity partner UNICEF needs £77 million to stop child hunger across eight countries in West Africa: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.
This case is especially relevant to the Club since, through our United for UNICEF partnership, £600,000 has been pledged to Senegal and Chief Executive David Gill visited the country in October 2011 to see how the first £200,000 had been spent.
The lives of millions of children in West Africa are at risk as a result of drought, chronic poverty and a sharp rise in food prices. UNICEF reports that there is now a race against time to prevent a wide-scale emergency.
UNICEF: "We must act early to prevent another catastrophe for children."
The crisis worsens an already fragile situation. Countries in West Africa have some of the highest mortality rates in the world: one in five children dies before the age of five. Severely malnourished children are nine times more likely to die from preventable diseases. A new food crisis could put the lives of over 1 million children across the region at risk of malnutrition.
Most affected countries in the region are landlocked and this presents a serious challenge to the distribution of essential supplies. A lack of clean water is also further compounding the risk of disease among malnourished children. Several countries in West Africa already have areas in emergency, with more than one in six children malnourished.
"Children need your help"
UNICEF has the right systems in place to deal with the threat of child hunger, but we need your support to provide enough supplies and services to vulnerable children in region.
"Just £5 could feed a malnourished child for a week"
Please visit www.unicef.org.uk/manu to find out how you can help to protect children from life-threatening malnutrition in West Africa.
“The children at risk today in the Sahel are not mere statistics by which we may measure the magnitude of a potential humanitarian disaster. They are individual girls and boys, and each has the right to survive, to thrive and to contribute to their societies. We must not fail them. The challenge is great and the window is closing.” Tony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director