UN seeks financial resources to help millions of people across Sahel region

The United Nations and its partners today launched an appeal for nearly $2 billion to provide vital humanitarian assistance to millions of people in nine countries across Africa’s Sahel region.
“I am gravely concerned by the crisis in the Sahel. Families are extremely vulnerable to changes in the climate and many are affected by insecurity and the precarious economic situation in many countries,” said UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos.
“We need the support of the international community and sustained government leadership to ensure that we do not forget the people of the Sahel,” she added, referring to a region that stretches across the southern fringe of the Sahara desert and is one of the harshest environments in the world.
Some 145 million people in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal live in a region that is constantly challenged by chronic food and malnutrition crises, and is vulnerable to climate change, droughts and unpredictable rainfall.
The Sahel humanitarian appeal for 2015, launched today in New York and totalling $1.96 billion, is part of a regional multi-year strategy to respond better to the chronic challenges in the region by emphasizing early intervention and forging closer partnerships with governments and development actors.
Over 20 million people in the region are short of food, 2.6 million of whom need life-saving food assistance now; and nearly six million children under the age of five are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2015.
Violent conflict and insecurity have worsened over the last 12 months in many of the countries. As a result, 2.8 million people have been uprooted from their homes, over one million more than this time last year.

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