Central Africa: Unicef Seeks $2bn Humanitarian Assistance for West, Central Africa

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Friday appealed for nearly 2 billion dollars to provide lifesaving assistance to more than 24 million boys and girls across West and Central Africa in 2024.

It projected that 46.7 million children in the region would face another year of humanitarian need due to ongoing conflict in Central Sahel, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and displacements into Chad sparked by the war in Sudan.

“West and Central Africa is home to a large number of critically underfunded emergencies and some of the most neglected humanitarian crises in the world for children,” UNICEF Regional Director, Felicité Tchibindat, said.

The 1.89 million-dollar appeal aims to reach roughly 24.1 million children next year, up from 23.5 million in 2023.

Aid will include lifesaving nutrition supplies, clean water, education, and child protection services, as well as humanitarian cash transfers for households.

More than a third of the funding will be used to address malnutrition, as the prevalence of wasting in children under five remains high.

The Sahel countries are most affected, with several areas of Burkina Faso, Mali, and northwest Nigeria showing emergency levels of child wasting.

Meanwhile, the outgoing head of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has urged global leaders to heed scientific evidence on climate change and accelerate the shift to renewable energy sources.

Petteri Taalas, who ended his tenure as WMO Secretary-General on Friday, assumed the post in 2016 and was at the helm of the UN agency over the warmest eight-year period in recorded history.