By Felix Tih
ANKARA (AA) - Humanitarian crisis in the Central Sahel region of Africa is going out of control, with more than 5 million people facing severe food insecurity across the region, according to the UN's World Food Program (WFP).
The WFP said the rise comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading across countries with the weakest health systems around the world.
Burkina Faso has the highest number of coronavirus cases in West Africa, with 288 confirmed cases, and 16 deaths.
“This is a crisis layered on top of a crisis, and the situation risks getting out of hand,” Chris Nikoi, the WFP’s regional director for West Africa, said in a statement on Thursday.
“People are on the brink -- we must step up now to save lives -- we are the only hope for millions.
“Our message to the world is clear: Look away now and the consequences will be no less than catastrophic,” added Nikoi.
The Sahel has long been one of the most vulnerable regions in Africa.
The surge in armed violence across Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger is having a devastating impact on children’s survival, education, protection and development.
The conflict has forced more than 1 million people to flee their homes, according to UNICEF.