Global acute malnutrition in the Sahel and West Africa

Published : November 2020

Acute malnutrition persists throughout the region, particularly in Sahelian countries where the prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) regularly exceeds a threshold of 10% (labelled “high”, WHO). In early 2020, more than 8.1 million GAM cases were expected among children under 5 years of age in these countries, including an estimated 2.5 million severe acute malnutrition (SAM) cases. According to revised estimates (UNICEF/WFP, May 2020), the number of GAM cases could increase by 20% in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic (socio-economic impact on households and food systems, as well as a reduced coverage of basic nutrition services). According to UNICEF estimates, the coverage of nutrition services during the early phase of the pandemic was reduced by approximately 30%. These disruptions have reached a much higher level in countries under lockdown measures and in conflict-affected countries, where nutrition services were sometimes completely disrupted. Massive population displacements, limited access to basic social services and increasingly restricted humanitarian access have worsened the nutritional situation of millions of women and children. While key stakeholders in the nutrition sector have adapted preventive and curative services to ensure the continuity of nutritional services, disruptions are already being observed.

Countries : Burkina Faso, Chad, G5 Sahel area, Mali, Niger, Region

Themes : Agriculture & Value chains, Children & Youth, Covid-19, Food security, Nutrition, Health, Social protection

Scale : Regional (West Africa)

Langs : English

See also

Sahel and West Africa: Regional food and nutrition outlook


Sahel and West Africa: 42.5 million in crisis situation (phase 3-5) projection June-August 2023


Sahel and West Africa: 29.5 million people in crisis phase ( 3-5) March-May 2023


Sahel and West Africa: 28.9 million people in crisis phase ( 3-5) November-December 2022


Sahel and West Africa: 27.3 million of people in crisis phase ( 3-5), March-may 2022