Record 13.4 mln people in Central Sahel need humanitarian aid, protection: UN

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UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- A record 13.4 million people need humanitarian assistance and protection in the Central Sahel because of complex and fast-growing crises, UN humanitarians said on Tuesday.

The number of severely food-insecure people has almost quintupled in Burkina Faso, almost doubled in Mali and increased by 77 percent in Niger compared to last year, continuing to cause record levels of suffering, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

There are now 6.6 million severely food-insecure people in the region and internally displaced people in Burkina Faso, Mali and western Niger total 1.4 million people, a substantial hike from 70,000 in less than two years, OCHA said.

The humanitarian office said it is increasingly difficult to access vulnerable people due to insecurity, including attacks on civilians and humanitarian workers and their assets.

Climate change is complicating the humanitarian situation, OCHA said. More than 500,000 people have been affected by floods in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

The humanitarian response plans for the trio of nations are seeking a total of 1.4 billion U.S. dollars.

It is severely underfunded, OCHA said.

A ministerial-level pledging event is scheduled in Denmark on Oct. 20. Enditem

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