$2bn needed to break "crisis cycle" in SahelListen /
An appeal for $2 billion is being made by the United Nations to break what's been described as a "crisis cycle" in the Sahel region.
The humanitarian situation in the eight countries of the African region is deteriorating according to the UN.
It says that more than 20 million people are struggling to feed themselves and that they require support before May when their needs are greatest.
Robert Piper, the UN's Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel said a new three-year strategic plan has long-term term goals.
"It's a plan where the humanitarian community has recognised that we are in this race against time. We need to equip households in this region not only to anticipate and manage the next crisis, but that they need to be sadly ready for the one that follows after that. The cycle of crises is getting closer and closer together and these events are getting also more intense." (22″)
The three-year Strategic Response Plan which is being launched on Monday will address a wide range of needs, including the reinforcement of early warning and monitoring systems for flooding, epidemics, as well as population movements.
Derrick Mbatha, United Nations