E.U. Doubles Humanitarian Aid To Sahel In Response To Impending Food Crisis
“Kristalina Georgieva, the European commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis response, arrived in Niger on Wednesday to see at first hand the extent of food shortages” in the country and announced the European Union (E.U.) “is doubling its humanitarian aid to the Sahel to nearly €95 million ($122 million) in response to the slow onset emergency in the region, where an estimated 300,000 children are affected by malnutrition annually,” the Guardian reports. Niger, a “vast landlocked country with an estimated 14.7 million people, most of whom live along a narrow border of arable land on its southern border, is bracing itself for a sharp rise in food insecurity in the ‘lean period,’ when food from the last harvest runs out,” the newspaper notes.
“‘This crisis will bite from next month onward, and we are now in a race against time,’ Georgieva warned,” adding, “I am determined to ensure that the European commission will mobilize €250 million [development and humanitarian aid] to cover food assistance and longer-term food security in the Sahel,” the Guardian writes. “The extra money is to come from the E.U.’s development budget after protracted discussions between the union’s humanitarian office and its development arm, led by commissioner Andris Piebalgs,” the newspaper notes (Tran, 1/18).