At least one million children are at risk of dying of malnutrition in parts of Africa's Sahel region, which covers Mauritania, Mali, and Niger, according to the United Nations.
Ertharin Cousin, the executive director for the UN World Food Programme, told Al Jazeera on Saturday 05 May 2012 that the worsening crisis in the West African region was a situation that the global community could no longer ignore.
Speaking at the Mangaize refugee camp in Niger, Cousin said that many people fleeing from unrest and other issues in northern Mali were arriving at the camp everyday.
"They came to a place that had as little as what they had in Mali, but what they found here was safety," said Cousin.
"We're seeing bus-loads of refugees coming in everyday, fleeing the challenges in northern Mali. This is a crisis that the global community cannot ignore."