A rise in the number and spread of conflicts in countries across Africa’s Sahel region is putting further strains on already fragile communities. To help those most in need, the European Commission is stepping up its support with a further €35 million in humanitarian aid.
“From Mauritania to Chad, many vulnerable communities in the Sahel region are facing hunger due to growing insecurity and conflict. Many more people rely on our humanitarian assistance for survival. We remain committed to help those in need and support humanitarian organisations working to deliver aid in the region,” said Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.
The funding announced today will be provided to humanitarian organisations in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger to:
- boost access to food and basic social services, such as health care, protection and education;
- help people forcibly displaced by conflicts in the region and host communities; and
- humanitarian crises.
The EU is one of the largest donors of humanitarian aid to the Sahel. With today’s announced funding, the EU’s total contribution to humanitarian assistance in the Sahel in 2019 stands at over €187 million. Aid organisations receiving EU support are helping with providing emergency food assistance, shelter, water access and sanitation, nutrition to undernourished children, supporting health care centres, and ensuring screening for children who are at risk of malnutrition.
The people in the Sahel region are faced with multiple and overlapping threats, such as armed conflicts, climatic shocks, food and nutrition shortages, and disease outbreaks. It is estimated that across the five Sahel countries supported by this aid package, there are 12.7 million people in need of urgent humanitarian aid, including more than 4.3 million who require emergency food assistance. Triggered by rapidly spreading conflicts and pressures on food availability, the number of displaced people in the region went up by over 520,000 since the beginning of the year to 2.04 million people.