Sunday, 19/1/2020 | 12:54 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

Over €150 million in EU aid to meet Sahel’s growing food needs

By measuring the circumference of their children’s arm, mothers can recognize if they are undernourished. Photo credit: EU/ECHO/Anouk Delafortrie

In Africa’s Sahel, close to 20 million people don’t know where their next meal will come from. The EU is giving €156 million in humanitarian funding for 2015 to the Sahel region to address the recurrent food crises and increasing needs.

This new aid is announced today by EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, who is currently in Senegal and about to visit Mali.

2015 will be a very difficult year for many people in the Sahel region. Drought in the second half of 2014 has jeopardised harvests and can increase the volatility of food prices, making it even harder for the poorest to buy food. This is complicated by the conflicts in northern Mali and Nigeria, as well as by the threat of epidemics such as Ebola, measles and cholera.

The Sahel region is still reeling from four consecutive food and nutrition crises. More than 5 million children are currently estimated to suffer from acute malnutrition and this number may increase.

The growing humanitarian needs require both massive relief aid and measures to address the root causes of food insecurity and malnutrition, and increase the resilience of the poorest people.

The United Kingdom is contributing with €45 million to the European Commission’s funding for Sahel announced today.

Since the start of 2014, the European Commission has provided more than €350 million to assist the people affected by the Sahel crisis. The EU has also been instrumental in the creation of AGIR, a global alliance to strengthen resilience in West Africa, which has set itself a ‘Zero hunger’ goal by 2032.