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In response to the worsening food crisis affecting the Sahel and Sudan, Kristalina Georgieva - Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response announced that the Commission has proposed an additional €40 million in humanitarian funding to be drawn from the EU budget's Emergency Aid Reserve. €30 million of this would be additional funding for the Sahel and €10 million for Sudan. This extra €30 million will bring the total humanitarian aid funds allocated by the Commission to fighting malnutrition in the Sahel since the end of 2009 to €98 million. The additional funds will be used to boost the humanitarian aid operations carried out by European Commission humanitarian aid partners and will help provide food assistance to over 500,000 extra beneficiaries during the next critical months until harvest time in October. Currently, over 10 million people in the Sahel region are at risk of food insecurity. Of these over 7 million are in Niger and 3 million of these are considered to be severely food insecure and in need of urgent food assistance.
Commissioner Georgieva said: "During my visit to Niger in early June I saw for myself the scale of the food crisis affecting the Sahel region and the ensuing large numbers of severely malnourished children brought for treatment to Commission funded nutrition centres. Thanks to the timely and significant food assistance funded by the European Commission and the good work of our partners over the past months many lives have been saved. However climatic, economic and nutritional conditions have further worsened for millions of people living in the "drought belt" of Sahel but also in Sudan, where people already suffer from a conflict situation. We need to do more and we must act quickly if we want to avoid adults and children dying from starvation. The next few months until the next harvest will be a critical time. With the additional funding that we have requested we will be able to help hundreds of thousands more people more to survive through this hungry period".