The European Commission has made two separate donations, worth €16.5 million, to UNICEF to provide treatment for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition due to the hunger crisis in West and Central Africa. UNICEF estimates that at least 1.1 million children under 5 will need lifesaving care this year and is ensuring the establishment of more than 4 000 treatment centres in the Sahel region.
Most of the European Commission's humanitarian funding for UNICEF will cover nutrition programmes in each of the eight countries affected. A second tranche of €5 million has been assigned to Chad, where an estimated 127 000 children under the age of 5 are at risk of losing their lives.
The UN estimates that as many as 15 million people will be affected in 8 countries: Chad, northern Nigeria, the north of Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and northern Senegal.
The European Commission is among UNICEF's largest humanitarian donors. In 2011 alone, it provided over €70 million for UNICEF projects supporting children.