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New plan for Sahel crisis

UN, partners launch new plan for Sahel crisis - People in the Sahel region will continue to need substantial humanitarian assistance in 2014 and beyond because millions are facing food insecurity and malnutrition, FAO said Thursday.


Partly fuelling the humanitarian crisis are conflicts, natural disasters and epidemics and these have greatly weakened the resilience of communities and their capacity to improve their lives in the long-term, the UN agency said, adding that more than 20 million people – roughly one in eight - struggle with food insecurity.

As of January 2014, more than 2.5 million people require urgent lifesaving food assistance, and many more may need assistance during the regional lean season starting around mid-May, it indicated.

UN agencies and humanitarian partners are launching an unprecedented, three-year Strategic Response Plan to bring life-saving assistance to vulnerable families and help break the crisis cycle for years to come.

It said that planned assistance will address a wide range of needs, including reinforcement of early warning and monitoring systems for flooding, epidemics and population movements.

The nine countries to be covered by the plan, it said, are: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.

Consequently, the UN and partners have convened a press conference on 3 February, which will outline the strategic response plan for the Sahel.

Among those who will speak at the press conference are Valerie Amos, United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator; José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); Romano Prodi, UN Special Envoy on the Sahel and Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

Pana 30/01/2014