China donates to UNICEF to tackle severe acute malnutrition in Senegal

China has made a donation worth 1 million U.S. dollars to help the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) assist severely malnourished children in Senegal as part of the response to COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF Senegal said Tuesday in a press release.

Children wearing face masks walk in a supermarket in Dakar, Senegal, July 29, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the risk of malnutrition among children due to deteriorating food quality, lack of access to nutrition and other health care services, UNICEF said.

UNICEF's representative in Senegal Silvia Danailov thanked China for mobilizing aid important to supporting their efforts alongside Senegal, noting that the donation will help improve children's survival.

Chinese Ambassador to Senegal Xiao Han said that China is proud of establishing partnerships with the United Nations to support other countries.

"China is committed to working closely with UNICEF to ensure a smooth implementation of this funding for the benefit of Senegalese children," Xiao said.

UNICEF said it will continue to support the Senegalese government's efforts to deal with malnutrition by ensuring the provision of nutritional inputs, such as ready-to-use therapeutic foods and essential medicines, as part of the partnership.

Approximately 17,355 children under the age of five in the northern and eastern regions of Senegal suffering from severe acute malnutrition will benefit from this donation.

Senegal is one of the six countries receiving the support of UNICEF-China cooperation against COVID-19 through the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund mechanism, according to UNICEF Senegal.