DAKAR – Nearly 17 percent of Niger’s children younger than five suffer acute malnutrition, a 5 percent increase over the same period last year, according to a national survey released by the government. More than 15 percent acute malnutrition is classified as a critical emergency by the UN World Health Organization (WHO). The report links this increase to the poor 2008-2009 harvests.
The government, with UN agency and NGO support, surveyed 8,000 under-fives nationwide from late-May to mid-June. In Agadez region, only urban centres were surveyed due to insecurity.