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EU steps up assistance to Mali and the Central African Republic as humanitarian needs grow

Malian refugees in the Mauritanian desert. Photo © EC/ECHO/Anouk Delafortrie

With the crises in Mali and the Central African Republic worsening, the EU has released fresh humanitarian funding of €9 million to respond to the most pressing needs.

This brings the EU's overall humanitarian support to West and Central Africa in 2017 to nearly €254 million since the beginning of the year. The lifesaving aid helps the most vulnerable people in the region who have been affected by forced displacement due to conflict.

"Many people continue to suffer as they are forced from their homes by conflict in Mali and the Central African Republic. The EU is committed to help. Today we are increasing our humanitarian support to help save lives in both countries. Our aid will help provide essential supplies like food and medical care and support humanitarian organisations working in the affected areas," said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.

Of the €9 million package, €5.5 million have been allocated to respond to the emergency needs of people affected by the crisis in the Central African Republic where nearly half the population – 2.4 million people – needs humanitarian assistance, also due to a renewed outbreak of violence in different parts of the country. The regional spill-over of the crisis remains significant as well, with over 480 000 refugees in Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo.

€3.5 million will be allocated to help respond to the worsening humanitarian situation in North and Central Mali and the spill-over to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Mauritania. Of this amount, €1.8 million will be allocated to support food assistance, nutrition and health care for conflict-affected people in Mali itself, and to provide rapid response to new displacements. Over 1.5 million people currently rely on humanitarian aid. Another €1.7 million will help respond to existing gaps in food assistance to Malian refugees in neighbouring Mauritania and Burkina Faso, as well as to provide education in emergencies. Mauritania and Burkina Faso currently host over 83 000 refugees from Mali.

Background

Today's announcement comes in addition to previous 2017 allocations to West and Central Africa.

With the Boko Haram conflict remaining the major trigger responsible for the deterioration of the situation in the Lake Chad area, the EU has so far provided €105 million this year in response to the crisis. 5.1 million people are facing critical food insecurity in the region, with 55,000 people in northeast Nigeria estimated to be experiencing famine-like conditions. In the Sahel as well, the EU has been providing urgent assistance to vulnerable populations in Niger, Chad, Mali and Burkina Faso.

EU humanitarian funding aims to ensure timely and principled provision of basic services – health, water, shelter and nutrition, protection and food assistance – to all vulnerable populations. However, access to affected communities in these regions remains restricted in many areas, hampering the safe distribution of humanitarian assistance. 

Publication date
03/08/2017