Martin Dawes, Regional Spokesperson UNICEF West and central Africa said: "There is still time to avert a catastrophe amongst children inthe Sahel region of West Africa.
"1.1 million children over the course of this year will need life saving intervention because of severe acute malnutrition. This is a crisis with multiple causes where adults will suffer but children will die.
"5,200 nutrition treatment centres have been set up in nine countries but the next two month will be extremely hard for children and their mothers. Most at risk are those who become malnourished and fall prey to conditions such as malaria and diarrhoea."
ITV News has visited a hospital in southern Niger to give an eye-witness account of the food crisis developing there. Africa Correspondent Rohit Kachroo shows in his report how a once-in-a-generation hunger crisis strikes the children of Africa.
Watch his full report on ITV News at 6.30pm.
Britain is now helping a total of more than 1.6 million people at risk of hunger across the Sahel, the Department for International Development said.
- Britain announced £10 million of funding earlier this year to support over 400,000 people across the Sahel region.
- International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell announced in June that Britain will give £10 million additional funding to UN and NGO agencies to provide food, healthcare, water, sanitation facilities, seeds, tools and livestock support for up to 1,027,000 people.
- Britain has now announced it will provide a further £5.4 million of funding to the UN and NGOs.
Stephen O’Brien recently became the first Coalition minister to visit Niger and he saw how British aid is helping thousands of people survive the food crisis in West Africa.
What I saw in Niger was the very real human face of this terrible food crisis.
Britain will not sit back while children starve to death in the Sahel and the feeding centres I visited prove how our swift and early action is saving lives.
Some very dedicated people are doing vital work to help those who are suffering through no fault of their own.
Building on the work done in the last few months and the lessons learned from previous food and nutrition crises, I am confident that our intervention is extraordinarily effective.
Britain will provide a further £5.4 million of funding to help 200,000 people suffering from the food crisis in West Africa, the Government has announced.
It is hoped the emergency aid will feed an additional 60,000 people across Niger, Mali and Chad for six months.
It will also provide food vouchers for 80,000 people and animal feed and vaccinations to keep over 60,000 farmers’ livestock alive.