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Friday, 20 January 2012

The EC to double its humanitarian aid to the Sahel

As we reported few days ago, Kristalina Georgieva, the European Union's crisis response commissioner is visiting Chad and Niger this week. During her visit she has announced that the European Commission is doubling its humanitarian aid to the African Sahel region to 95 million EUR in response to the food crisis.
The funding surge comes on top of the 10 million EUR that the Commission allocated to the looming drought crisis in the region last November. The total 105 million EUR in humanitarian funding will lift more than 2 million people out of the danger zone during the most critical period. This includes nearly 300,000 children under the age of two and pregnant and breastfeeding women. At least 35% of the assistance will be distributed in Niger.
She warned that "[t]his crisis will bite from next month onward and we are now in a race against time". Moreover, she has praised the government of Niger for their early recognition of the scale of this crisis and expressed hope that its consequences can be mitigated with early response, as it happened in 2010, when another drought-induced disaster was avoided in the region.
Finally, she has stated: "I am determined to ensure that the European Commission will mobilise 250 million EUR to cover food assistance and longer term food security in the Sahel. We are already doing a lot, but this crisis needs an even greater response. I appeal to everyone, the international community and the governments in the region, to do all they can to assist”.

Source: European Commission

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