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Sahel: FAO secures US$2 bln pledge to fight food insecurity

Tuesday, 12 April 2022 18:40
Sahel: FAO secures US$2 bln pledge to fight food insecurity

(Ecofin Agency) - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) obtained nearly US$2 billion in funding pledges from the international community to combat food insecurity in the Sahel and Lake Chad region. The information was disclosed in a press release, published, Thursday (April 7) by the organization on its website.  

The pledges represent almost half of the humanitarian appeal launched by the FAO. The proceeds are intended for emergency assistance and to strengthen "the resilience of vulnerable people and agri-food systems" in the affected regions. 

Part of the funds pledged will come from the European Union (€654 million) in the framework of its 2021-2024 assistance program “to provide a long-term development assistance response to the structural food crisis in the seven most affected countries.”   

According to FAO Deputy Director-General Laurent Thomas (photo), this aid will help meet the humanitarian needs of 41 million people this year. The official calls for “significant efforts (...) to provide an immediate response but also to address the root causes of this crisis, otherwise, levels of acute hunger will continue to rise.” 

The EU estimates that currently, 29.5 million people living in the project areas need emergency humanitarian assistance.

"There is absolute urgency to re-invest in local food production together with humanitarian food assistance and safety nets. Investing in saving agricultural livelihoods today means saving the lives of millions tomorrow. Countries of the Sahel region need to invest in making agrifood systems more efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable," Laurent Thomas said. 

Between 2019 and 2022, the number of people affected by acute food insecurity rose from 10.8 million to 40.7 million. For FAO, “millions more [are] at risk of slipping into a crisis or worse."

Jean-Marc Gogbeu

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