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Thursday, 24 November 2011

EU adds 10 million EUR to fight looming hunger crisis in Sahel

The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) is immediately increasing its funding to the Sahel region of Africa to safeguard the lives of half a million people in a rapidly developing food crisis. Seven million people are already facing shortages in Niger, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria and Burkina Faso, with major shortfalls in food production in many areas. The figures point to a massive problem of food availability next year.

The Commission is therefore adding a futher €10 million humanitarian funding to the 45 million euros it has given to the Sahel already this year. It means that a further 500,000 men, women and children – in addition to the 6.2 million already being reached with EU funding - from the most vulnerable households in the worst affected areas will be protected at the onset of the lean period three months from now.

"By acting now and anticipating the crisis ahead we can avoid the terrible suffering that has struck in another part of Africa this year", said Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. "The real effects and the extent of this situation will only be visible in a few months, when the poorest will have no food reserves or money to buy much dearer food, as prices are already rising. Tragically there has not been sufficient time since the last crisis in 2010 for a population already weakened by hunger to recover. That is the vicious circle we want to break, but one single donor will not be able to face this huge challenge. I call on everybody to respond to this emergency before it becomes a crisis".

Source: European Commission

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