The United Nations and non-governmental partner organizations launched today in Dakar a US$ 2.66 billion appeal for aid to provide lifesaving assistance to 15 million people across eight countries in the Sahel region.
“The Sahel faces considerable challenges and will remain the site of one of the world’s major humanitarian operations in 2017,” said UN Assistant-Secretary General and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator, M. Toby Lanzer. “Millions of people still live in conditions of deplorable human suffering. Their lives and livelihoods will be at stake unless the humanitarian community, governments and donors renew their engagement to assist and protect those in urgent need and help these communities become less vulnerable to shocks.”
One in five families in the Sahel continues to be extremely vulnerable and 4.5 million people have fled from their homes. In 2017, more than 30 million people will face food insecurity, of which 12 million will urgently need aid. Malnutrition continues to reach critical levels in the region, particularly in Chad and Nigeria’s northeast, where the prevalence of global acute malnutrition is as high as 30%, which is double the emergency threshold.
“In the four countries of the Lake Chad Basin, where the crisis is most acute, 11 million people require emergency assistance and financial needs have almost tripled since last year. Half a million severely malnourished children need our immediate help to survive. In Mali, the humanitarian situation is stable but remains extremely worrying due to insecurity, “said Mr. Toby Lanzer.
“In Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Senegal, the absence of violence coincided with two relatively good rainy seasons. This has allowed communities, with the help of humanitarian actors, to recover from previous shocks and become more resilient, “said the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator.
“And we must, more than ever, shift ‘from providing aid to ending needs’ because extreme vulnerability in the Sahel is the most visible symptom of the triple crisis of governance, insecurity and climate change that affects this region. The demographic explosion, which will see the region’s population double in the next twenty years, exacerbates the situation still further, “said Toby Lanzer. “UN agencies and their partners are committed to doing everything they can to respond quickly and effectively to the urgent needs of affected individuals, families and communities. And we continue to strengthen our collaboration with governments, development and stabilization actors, without whom humanitarian assistance will continue to be needed indefinitely and at an ever greater cost.”