Press release on emergency relief assistance provided to the Government of the Republic of Niger

The Commission of the African Union, through its Policy Committee of the Special Emergency Assistance Fund for Drought and Famine in Africa (SEAF), considered the drought and famine situation in the Republic of Niger.

The Commission noted, with deep sorrow, that the drought, compounded with locust outbreaks, has affected more than 3 million men and women, and most devastatingly children in that country. It also noted that the problem is likely to increase unless coordinated urgent actions are taken to put the situation under control.

In recognition of the severity of the problem on one hand and to express its solidarity with the people and government of the Republic of Niger on the other, the Commission approved an emergency relief assistance of US$ 1,000,000 to be disbursed directly to the government of the Republic of Niger.

Re-emphasizing the appeal made during the AU Policy Organs meetings in Syrte, Libya, the Chairperson of the Commission once again call upon all AU member states and the International community to appreciate the seriousness of the problem and provide support to the Government of Niger in order to enable it avoid immense human sufferings and further damages.

Addis Ababa, July 22, 2005