Four million euros in extra emergency aid for the Sahel

Report
from Government of the Netherlands
Published on 15 Aug 2012 View Original

The Netherlands is making an extra EUR 4 million available for emergency aid to the Sahel region. This was announced on Wednesday by international cooperation minister Ben Knapen. The money will go to the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) which, as well as providing emergency food aid, is working on structural solutions to improve food security in the region.

The reform of Dutch development policy has put an end to many activities. The government is now focusing closely on promoting food security, in close cooperation with Wageningen University, NGOs and within various other partnerships.

Extreme drought
The food crisis caused by extreme drought in the Sahel region shows no sign of letting up. The number of people reliant on humanitarian aid has risen to 10 million. New harvests are not expected for several months.

Chad, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso and Mauritania are the hardest hit, with the Gambia, Senegal, Cameroon and Nigeria also needing humanitarian aid. The situation in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania has further deteriorated with the influx of more than 230,000 refugees from Mali to date.

Emergency aid
This new amount is in addition to the Netherlands’ previous donation of EUR 10 million for the Sahel region, made earlier this year. According to the United Nations, USD 1.6 billion is needed to alleviate acute need. Just over half that amount has now been pledged, including donations from Sweden (USD 40 million), France (USD 23 million), Germany (USD 26 million) and the United Kingdom (USD 16 million).