Robert Piper takes over from David Gressly as Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel [EN/FR]
(Dakar, 8 March 2013). – Robert Piper, the new Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, took up his assignment this week in Dakar. Mr. Piper is taking over from David Gressly.
Robert Piper, an Australian national, brings 24 years of experience with the UN to his new role, including two Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator assignments in Kosovo and Nepal, two years as Chief of Staff to President Clinton when he lead the international Tsunami recovery effort, a period as Senior Advisor on UN reform at UNDP Headquarters, a stint as Deputy of what is now UNDP's Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery and various long-term field assignments in Thailand, Cambodia and Fiji. His experience spans peace-building, risk reduction, development and humanitarian coordination, all of which are especially relevant for the complex challenges in front of us in the Sahel.
Despite a good 2012 harvest, the Sahel region continues to be in crisis with over 10 million people living in food insecurity. Food prices remain high in many regions, preventing access to the market for the poorest households. Recent events in Mali have further exacerbated the fragility of the region.
For 2013, a total of US$ 1.6 billion are needed to support millions of vulnerable people across the Sahel meet their immediate life-saving needs, kick-starting resilience programming and address the impact of the Mali crisis.