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Humanitarian assistance mobilised to respond to the looming food crisis in the Sahel

Meeting on food crisis and malnutrition in the Sahel © EU
08/02/2012  - 

The European Commission is scaling up its humanitarian assistance to the Sahel region of West Africa – where 12 million people are at risk of hunger – to €123.5 million. Combined with at least €150 million in development assistance, it brings the Commission's funding for the Sahel so far this year to almost €275 million. But it's estimated that €700 million is required to cover the next 6 months.

Leading donors, including EU Member States, the United States of America, Canada, Brazil and others, are meeting today in Brussels. They are discussing how best to help those in greatest need and reinforce their commitment to raising the alarm and mobilising assistance on behalf of the most vulnerable people in the Sahel countries.

Five Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger) have declared an emergency and called for international assistance.

Kristalina Georgieva has just returned from a mission to the region where, accompanied by experts from humanitarian agencies, she saw first-hand the impact of the coming crisis. Determined to ensure that the resources mobilised by the international community will match the scale of the crisis as it evolves, her message was clear: 'All the early warning signs are flashing red; malnutrition rates are steadily rising, the price of food is increasing, the displacement of large numbers of people and their livestock has started. The EU has taken immediate action and I urge others to do the same.'