European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

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EU commits additional €35 million for Africa’s Sahel region

Displaced people in Mali. EU funding will provide healthcare and education for communities across the Sahel region. © ICRC

A rise in the number and spread of conflicts in countries across Africa's Sahel region is putting further strains on already fragile communities. To help those most in need, the European Commission is stepping up its support with a further €35 million in humanitarian aid.

Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, said: “From Mauritania to Chad, many vulnerable communities in the Sahel region are facing hunger due to growing insecurity and conflict. Many more people rely on our humanitarian assistance for survival. We remain committed to help those in need and support humanitarian organisations working to deliver aid in the region."

The funding announced today will be provided to humanitarian organisations working in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, and will:

  • boost access to food and basic social services, such as healthcare, protection and education;
  • help people forcibly displaced by conflicts in the region and host communities; and
  • support humanitarian organisations in responding to sudden humanitarian crises.

The EU is one of the largest donors of humanitarian aid to the Sahel. With today’s funding announcement, the EU’s total contribution to humanitarian assistance in the Sahel in 2019 stands at more than €187 million. Aid organisations receiving EU support are helping with providing emergency food assistance, shelter, water access and sanitation, nutritional support for undernourished children, supporting healthcare centres, and ensuring screening for children who are at risk of malnutrition.


The people in the Sahel region face multiple and overlapping threats, such as armed conflicts, climatic shocks, food shortages, and disease outbreaks. It is estimated that across the 5 Sahel countries supported by this aid package, there are 12.7 million people in need of urgent humanitarian aid, including more than 4.3 million who require emergency food assistance.

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