Brussels, 3 February 2014
Sahel crisis: EU gives €142 million in humanitarian aid in 2014
The European Commission today has announced it will give €142 million in humanitarian funds to the Sahel region of Africa in 2014, which is once again suffering because of a severe food and nutrition crisis this year. In addition, many people in Mali are in need of humanitarian aid as a result of the situation in the North.
In 2014, severe acute malnutrition rates continue to surpass emergency thresholds in many regions of Chad, Niger, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal and Nigeria. The lean season, the difficult months between two harvests when food and resources become scarce, has started early for many in the Sahel. One and a half million children are at high risk of severe malnutrition this year.
"Close to three million Sahelians require urgent food assistance, including more than 800,000 people in the North of Mali, while twenty million people in the region suffer from food insecurity. We need to act quickly if we are to get vital aid to the most vulnerable people who continue their struggle to survive as a result of food insecurity, natural disasters and conflict," said Kristalina Georgieva, the EU's Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
"We should also not forget that many of these people are displaced, having been forced from their homes," said the Commissioner. "As we help people to survive our focus continues on building the resilience of the local population. That is the only effective and sustainable way to end the cycle of emergencies in the Sahel and to put a stop to food insecurity and malnutrition for millions of people. New funds are essential to make this possible."
The EU funding will provide €57 million in emergency relief for people affected by the overall Sahel food and nutrition crisis, €28 million to assist victims of the Mali crisis, €7.5 million for the food crisis situation in Nigeria, where the North is experiencing the most challenging situation; €29.5 million for Chad, which is in a complex crisis with an increasing number of refugees; and €2 million for North Cameroon. An additional €18 million is planned in EU development funding to provide relief and rehabilitation assistance to build resilience in northern Mali.
This funding will prioritise life-saving nutrition care for children and mothers and provide food assistance, access to basic health services and clean water for the most vulnerable people. It will also ensure that hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced people in West African countries continue to receive vital aid.
Since the beginning of the Sahel crisis in 2012, the European Commission has mobilised €383.4 million in emergency aid for both the Sahel and Mali crises. The EU’s early and substantial humanitarian response to the food crisis and the conflict has helped guarantee access to basic health and nutrition services, clean water, shelter and food for some of the most badly hit and vulnerable people in the region.
Since the beginning of 2012, the European Commission has already mobilised a total of €132 million in humanitarian aid for Mali. In parallel to its emergency aid, the EU is also promoting a concerted effort with governments of the region and international partners to build the resilience of the most vulnerable people in the Sahel through the AGIR alliance. To this end, the European Commission recently announced its intention of mobilizing €1.5 bn in EU development funding from 2014 to 2020 to help build resilience in the Sahel.
For more information
The European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection:
Commissioner Georgieva's website: