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Page last updated at 07:00 GMT, Friday, 10 August 2012 08:00 UK

Malnutrition prevention 'not working'

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Mother who lost 5 children to malnutrition and malaria

In the Sahel region of Africa a million children are now at risk of malnutrition and the deaths of 200,000 each year are linked to it, despite the long-term presence of aid agencies.

Boy with severe malnutrition
Malnutrition can appear in six months if children fail to get enough solid foods

Today programme reporter Mike Thomson reports from the Maradi area of Niger to find out what has been going wrong and whether it is time to rethink how the aid industry operates.

Alima, a 20 year-old mother with five children, says that sometimes she has to feed her children leaves as there is "nothing else".

Andrew Wander of Save the Children believes the system used to battle hunger "isn't working properly", not because of a lack of knowledge and skills but because "the funding isn't available at the right time".

He told Mike Thomson there needs to be a move "from treatment to prevention".


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