In Chad and across central West Africa, UNICEF is acting early to prevent food shortages turning into a children's famine. These photos tell the story of our lifesaving nutrition work in 2011 in Chad - one of the countries most vulnerable to food shortages because of poor harvests.
With your help we can prevent a crisis for children in West Africa. Please donate today.
Read UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake's call for action to prevent a West Africa food crisis.
Malnutrition is widespread in Chad and a major cause of mortality among children under five. This child suffers from severe acute malnutrition, but his chances are good: he's getting specialist care at a UNICEF-supported nutrition centre in Mao, in the Kanem region. In this area of West Africa more than 15 per cent of children suffer from acute malnutrition.
© UNICEF Chad/2011/Esteve
We can't ignore the warning signs of a food crisis in West Africa. We know this year's harvest will be poor because the region has seen so little rain, so children are certain to go hungry in 2012. Help us prevent a crisis for children in West Africa.
Food insecurity is the main cause of malnutrition in Chad. Lake Chad is rapidly drying out, making it hard for these women to produce enough food for their families. Chronic food insecurity stems from widespread poverty, volatile food prices and the kind of unpredictable and extreme weather patterns associated with climate change.
Here's how UNICEF is responding. Nutrition centres like this one in Mao treated approximately 56,000 children under five suffering from severe acute malnutrition between January and October 2011. But these 205 UNICEF-supported feeding centres need support in order to respond to the predicted crisis in 2012.
We're making sure that essential emergency nutrition supplies get through. Ready-to-use therapeutic peanut paste will help this child in Mao overcome acute malnutrition. We know that this kind of treatment saves children’s lives.
We also promote healthy ways of feeding babies and young children, like this little girl at the Koubigou nutrition centre. Only 3 per cent of children in Chad are exclusively breastfed in their first six months. UNICEF works hard to encourage this and other lifesaving family practices.
Hand washing at the nutrition centre in Koubigou, Eastern Chad. Safe water, sanitation and hygiene are an important way of combating malnutrition.
These UNICEF-supported nutrition centres help children and their mothers learn about the importance of hand washing with soap.
A little boy has his arm measured to assess his level of malnutrition in Koubigou, Eastern Chad. Careful monitoring means we can respond in the right way during a nutritional crisis, and measure progress.
Children running through the streets of Mao. Good nutrition is essential if children are to learn, grow and gradually break the cycle of poverty and hunger. Donate to UNICEF today and help us prevent a crisis for children in West Africa.
UNICEF IS FUNDED ENTIRELY BY VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS.WE RECEIVE NO FUNDING FROM THE UN BUDGET© UNICEF UK. Registered charity England & Wales (1072612) Scotland (SC043677)