Famine and Food Crises

In 2002 in Zambia, a boy (left) holds a wild fruit known as 'metu' while another boy (centre) cracks a 'mungogo' nut with a stone, in the district of Kalomo in Southern Province.

For Children, Malnutrition is the Silent Killer.

The Sahel and Horn of Africa regions in West and East Africa experienced unparalleled food crises in 2011 and 2012. Some 23 million people in 11 countries in the regions were affected by food insecurity and placed at risk of malnutrition. The survival of millions of children across these regions was threatened by a deadly combination of high food prices, armed conflict and crop failure.

Today, the children of South Sudan are facing a grave food crisis. Conflict in the world's newest country has destroyed South Sudan's agriculture-based economy. 4 million people may soon be pushed to the edge of starvation.

And in 2016, in West Africa's Lake Chad region, nearly half a million children in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria are facing severe malnutrition, a devastating consequence of the Boko Haram insurgency. So far this year, UNICEF has provided treatment to more than 100,000  children, but has received only 13 percent of the funds it needs to help children and families. Help us close this huge funding gap now.

Fast Fact