Sufficient funding for Sahel food and nutrition crisis must be made available now, Regional Humanitarian Coordinator David Gressly says
(Dakar, 30 April 2012). – “It is crucial that donors provide sufficient funding to address the food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel, and that their funding come now”, said Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel region David Gressly upon his return from a four-day visit in Mali.
David Gressly took office as Regional Humanitarian Coordinator on 17 April, following his appointment by Emergency Response Coordinator Valerie Amos. He made his first visit to Mali from 24 to 27 April to assess the needs and meet the humanitarian community in this country. The food and nutrition crisis affecting the Sahel region is compounded in Mali by the consequences of the conflict that has plagued the northern part of the country since mid-January. This conflict has resulted in the displacement of at least 320,000 people, including more than 187,000 refugees in the neighboring countries.
During his visit, David Gressly met the newly-appointed Prime Minister of Mali, who expressed his concern over the possibility to provide adequate assistance to populations in the North. The Regional Humanitarian Coordinator stressed the importance of the humanitarian access to the populations in need in the northern part of the country. He also pointed out the necessity of scaling up the response in the southern part of the country where, even if there is no difficulty to access the vulnerable population, some areas are deeply affected by the drought.
The Regional Humanitarian Coordinator met the Resident Coordinator in Mali, Aurélien Agbénonci, the heads of the UN Agencies in the country, members of the NGOs active in Mali and representatives of the donor countries. “It is essential that the overall response matches the scale and magnitude of the crisis”, David Gressly said.
Around 16.6 million people over nine countries – Senegal, the Gambia, Mauritania, Mali,
Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad as well as northern parts of Nigeria and Cameroon are already affected by food insecurity. Over one million children are threatened with severe acute malnutrition and approximately 3 million children under five years are expected to suffer from moderate acute malnutrition. As of 30 April, 56 percent of the US$924.88 million required to meet the humanitarian requirements have been provided. The total of unmet requirement is more than $427.4 million.
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