Food crisis in the Sahel: Paul Magnette responds to appeal made by international organisations
The Council of Ministers approved the provision of EUR 2 million in support for the countries of the Sahel region today, Friday 27 April, to help them in their fight against the imminent food crisis. In the words of Minister for Development Cooperation Paul Magnette: “Urgent action must be taken to combat the food insecurity that threatens more than 10 million people (according to UN-OCHA 2012 figures) in the Sahel. This must be done not only to provide these children, men and women with the opportunity to feed themselves, but also to equip them with the resources, via long-term solutions, to lead dignified lives.”
UNICEF can count on an amount of EUR 1,250,000 for the WASH project (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) in three countries: Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali (where an intervention in the southern and central parts of the country remains possible). The intention is to combat the acute malnutrition among children under the age of five. The action strategy involves short-term aid for the emergency situation, and fighting the structural causes in the long term.
In addition, the World Food Programme will receive support for an amount of EUR 750,000. This aid is focused on Mali (a country that has just undergone a coup) and Mauritania. In this way, the Belgian Development Cooperation is supporting the prevention of malnutrition while at the same time guaranteeing favourable conditions for a revitalisation of agricultural activities.
In addition to this signal, the Minister also emphasises that the solutions to fight world hunger are known: “I will call on the Belgian, European and international bodies for the regulation of financial activities on the agricultural markets, the creation of regional reserves, the government financing of family farming, as well for the strengthening of international food policy. Being able to feed oneself is a right that must be respected for everyone.”