Action must be taken immediately to address the humanitarian crisis in the Sahel or other countries will be drawn in and it will "become a problem for the world," a UNHCR official warned Wednesday.

The volatile situation in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso risks overflowing into neighboring countries, the UN refugee agency's director for west and central Africa, Abdouraouf Gnon-Konde told reporters in an interview in Brussels.

"The Gulf of Guinea, Togo, Benin, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire are already suffering because of the spiral of insecurity and the humanitarian situation — the same with Mauritania, the same with Algeria," he said.