West Africa launches 368-million dollar appeal for life-saving assistance

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 04 Dec 2009
(Dakar/New York, 4 December 2009): West Africa's humanitarian actors launched today an appeal for US$368 million (160 billion CFA) in order to respond to the humanitarian needs of millions of vulnerable people in 2010.

This appeal would contribute in saving lives throughout the 15 countries that make up the Economic Community of West African States and Mauritania by financing projects in life-saving sectors such food security and nutrition, health, water and hygiene, and protection.

Comprised of 129 projects, the 2010 appeal would allow, among other things, to improve the nutrition of some 5.9 million people suffering from food security; contribute to the survival of 290,000 severely malnourished children, and improve access to water and sanitation for more than 1 million living in flood-prone areas. Like in 2009, food security and nutrition remain important sectors, amounting to more than half of the total requirement for the coming year.

"West Africa is confronted with the compounded effects of numerous threats that further exacerbate- economically and socially- already impoverished communities. With this appeal, we aim to mobilize resources and raise awareness of the general public, States and national and international actors on the critical humanitarian challenges that could offset investment made in sustainable development and in the fight against poverty", said Hervé Ludovic de Lys, head of West Africa office of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Dakar.

Climate change and its consequences such as the torrential rains that have led to flooding in the past few years, the appearance of new diseases such as Dengue Fever in a country like Cape Verde where some 26,000 cases have been recorded since October, cross-border criminal activity limiting access to vulnerable population are some of the critical, emerging challenges.

The West Africa appeal is part of a global appeal that was launched on 30 November for a total amount of $7.13 billion (300 billion CFA).

In 2009, humanitarian actors appealed for $404 million. They have so far received $256 million for donors, representing a 63% funding rate. Since the launch of the first regional appeal in 2003, West Africa has received over $1.2 billion in humanitarian aid.

For further information, please call: Yvon Edoumou, OCHA-West Africa, +221-33-869-8515, mobile +221-77-569-9653, Edoumou@un.org; Angelita Mendy, OCHA-West Africa +221 33 869 8510, mobile +221 77 450 6181, mendya@un.org;

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