The United Kingdom’s development agency has pledged 15 million pounds ($24.4 million) for what it projects to be a “hugely” difficult 2013 for people in the Sahel region.
Support will focus on providing lifesaving assistance, especially food aid, to the hardest-hit population in the Sahel. The Department for International Development has yet to finalize allocations but the fund will be channeled through the World Food Program, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, the UNICEF and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening announced Dec. 19 that the fund will:
Provide food for more than 150,000 people in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania in the first quarter of 2013 through WFP.
Enable UNICEF to supply high-protein emergency food to more than 80,000 severely malnourished children below5 years.
Help UNHCR assist more than 80,000 refugees in Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania through provisions for comprehensive support packages including health care, protection and education.
Give emergency medical services, food, seeds, tools and cash-for-work and livestock support to more than 250,000 people in the conflict-affected areas of Niger and Mali.
“Rising food prices and political instability in the region could combine to put millions at risk of hunger and force many more out of their homes. That’s why it is crucial that Britain, with our international partners, acts now to ensure the most vulnerable are protected,” Greening said.
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