UN, partners make US$1.6BN appeal for Gambia, 8 others
Thursday, June 21, 2012
The UN and its partners have made a global appeal for $1.6 billion to provide humanitarian relief to Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Chad, Niger, Cameroon, The Gambia, and Senegal.
A statement issued by Nigeria’s foreign affairs office on Tuesday in Abuja said the money was needed to help provide food, nutrition, health services, sanitation and other urgent assistance to 18.7 million people in the nine countries five of which are in West Africa. It added that the amount would provide vital humanitarian aid to people in the crisis-stricken Sahel region of West Africa, revising their previous requests for funding in light of the dramatic deterioration of the situation.
``It is crucial that the momentum be maintained in the months to come, not only to address critical needs but also to prepare for rebuilding lives and livelihoods of people affected by the crisis,” the statement quoted David Gressly, Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel as saying. It said that the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), noted that the situation in the Sahel region had deteriorated dramatically through 2012 owing to drought and sporadic rains, poor harvest, rising food prices, displacement and insecurity.
According to it, in addition to the drought, the northern part of Mali has also witnessed resumed clashes between government forces and Tuareg rebels since January. The statement added that clashes had led to the mass displacement of civilians, stressing that the majority of those uprooted have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. The statement disclosed that across the region, more than one million children under five are at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition and require immediate relief.
It explained that an additional three million children are at risk of moderate acute malnutrition.
Author: Daily Observer