UN appeals for 1.6 billion dollars for the Sahel crisis responseListen /
The cost of the humanitarian response to the crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa has more than doubled.
It will now require more than one and a half billion dollars to finance, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA.
Earlier this year, the United Nations and its humanitarian partners had appealed for 720 million dollars.
OCHA says a combination of drought, sporadic rains, poor harvests, rising food prices, displacement and insecurity continues to worsen the livelihoods of nearly 19 million people.
Humanitarian response is urgently needed in Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Chad, Niger, Cameroon, Gambia, Nigeria and Senegal. David Gressly, the UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator says the number of food insecure people in the Sahel region was growing rapidly, adding that if assistance is not sustained, recovery efforts may fail.
"There has been an adjustment in the total requirement; it's about 1.6 billion dollars. Partly this is because the number of countries affected has increased; partly because of the Mali crisis which has required a significant response. Currently, we have about 40 per cent of that in hand — about 650 million dollars. What we need to see now is maintaining that pace through the lean season which will end in September-October, so we do not have a break in that so that support continues. The situation is a bit different from what we saw in theHorn of Africa last year. It is not at the same magnitude but it is still an important crisis and if left un-dealt, with many people will be affected and face significant risk of dying."