(Ecofin Agency) - The United Nations (UN) will organize a fundraising operation to respond to the humanitarian emergency in the Sahel. The announcement was made Friday, October 16, by Jens Laerke (pictured), spokesperson for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) during a press briefing in Geneva, Switzerland.
The event will take place within the framework of an inter-ministerial conference scheduled to take place on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, jointly by the UN, Denmark, Germany, and the European Union. The funds raised aim to address the social consequences of violence and insecurity, which are shaking the region in the pandemic context.
It is estimated that more than 13 million people (more than half are children) require assistance, and 7.4 million people suffer from hunger in the region. In January 2020, UNICEF announced its intention to mobilize $208 million for the region, while the International Organization for Migration (IOM) set its humanitarian response plan for Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger at $37.8 million.
Despite these calls for mobilization, the UN fears that the situation in the Sahel may be overlooked by major donors who are still slow to fund humanitarian response plans in the region. According to Jens Laerke, aid plans for Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso are currently only 40% funded, while the humanitarian crisis in these three countries is reaching a breaking point.
"The overall humanitarian situation there has deteriorated sharply over the past two years. Needs are rising faster than funding can keep up," the official said, adding that the upcoming inter-ministerial conference also aims to ensure that donor countries and those in the region find lasting solutions to the problem.
Moutiou Adjibi Nourou