Another donor has responded to the Sahel region’s worsening food shortage.
On Monday (Feb. 20), Ireland Minister of State for Trade and Development Joe Castello announced emergency funding worth €5 million ($6.6 million) for the region. This follows EU aid commissioner Kristalina Georgieva’s donation to the U.N. World Food Program last week, which amounted to €30 million.
The money will be used to support the relief efforts of major U.N. agencies, the Red Cross and other nongovernmental organizations. It will also help provide emergency food assistance to thousands of malnourished children and adults.
The combined assistance from both donors, however, is not enough to contain the 10 million people now at risk because of growing food insecurity in the region. The United Nations and key aid officials, in a meeting in Rome, Italy, last week, have requested $725 million in urgent humanitarian aid for the Sahel.
Meanwhile, WFP has scaled up its operations in Burkina Faso, one of the countries in the Sahel. Together with the government, the program is boosting its food and cash-for-work activities in the country. It is also cooking a larger response for the coming lean season, which starts in April. This will include food assistance, malnutrition prevention for children under 2, and treatment for pregnant women and malnourished children under 5.
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