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Tuesday, 08 June 2010

Sahel region: Additional €24 million for humanitarian aid purposes

The Commission has decided today to allocate an additional €24 million to be used in assisting over seven million vulnerable people affected by the food crisis in Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and northern Nigeria. The new funds will permit the financing of more operations in the nutrition and health sectors. This includes blanket supplementary feeding programmes, screening and treatment of acute malnutrition of children, free access to health services for emergency cases and mobile health services for pastoralist population.
The Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva said, "The permanent presence of ECHO humanitarian aid experts in the region have helped to provide early warning of the risks and possible scale of the food crisis. It is now clear that the situation in the Sahel region is worsening. With this additional €24 million funding, the Commission continues to show its commitment to act early to alleviate the impact of food scarcities and to try to prevent a reoccurrence of the major crises that have severely affected the Sahel region over the past decades. I will soon visit some of the projects that we are funding to evaluate the effectiveness of our humanitarian response and to ensure that our assistance is being used in the most efficient way to help those in need." The additional assistance approved today will fund the provision of emergency food assistance during the "hungry period" between harvests and the provision of seeds in preparation of the 2010 main agricultural season. The emergency food assistance will be in the context of the recommendations of the Communication on Humanitarian Food Assistance that the Commission adopted last March.

Source: European Commission