The European Commission is increasing its humanitarian funding to the Sahel by €40 million, bringing its response to the food crisis to €337 million. This extra funding comes just weeks before the food crisis is set to peak across the region, where 18 million people are in danger from hunger.
The funding increase comes as the European Commission hosts a high-level gathering on the Sahel hunger crisis. International donors, representatives from the Sahel countries and international and local organisations are attending. Among the delegates are Valerie Amos, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, and Nancy Lindborg, the Assistant Administrator for Democracy at USAID.
The meeting launched a new partnership on strengthening resilience within the Sahel to future crises. The initiative, called AGIR Sahel (Alliance Globale pour l'Initiative Résilience), has one core aim: to make sure that the people in the Sahel can cope better with future droughts. A joint statement by the meeting's participants is available in English and French .
The €40 million in funding proposed today would go towards blanket feeding programmes for children, and distribution of food to the poorest households. Part of this funding will also help provide food, water, healthcare and shelter for the estimated 400 000 Malians displaced by conflict.
The European Commission has been the leading humanitarian donor during this year's Sahel food crisis. It has reached nearly 7 million people with its funding. The Commission provided support as soon as the very first warning signs of hunger appeared in 2011, and has remained at the forefront of international efforts to meet emergency needs before the crisis peaks in the coming weeks.