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West and Central Africa: EU allocates €181.5 million in humanitarian aid in 2023

The EU has allocated €181.5 million to humanitarian aid in West and Central Africa this year, as the region continues to be plagued by protracted crises resulting from conflicts aggravated by other factors, such as climate change and the global rise in food prices. New allocations were announced for Burkina Faso (25.5 million euros), Mali (26 million euros), Mauritania (6.5 million euros) and the Central African Republic (20.5 million euros), in addition to a regional allocation of 500,000 euros. These sums come on top of the EU funds already pledged for Nigeria (€34 million), Niger (€25 million), Chad (€26.5 million) and Cameroon ( 17 million

 

The announcement was made at today’s EU-ECOWAS ministerial meeting in Brussels, attended by Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management. From the aforementioned budget, up to €111 million will benefit ECOWAS member countries.

 

EU humanitarian aid to West and Central Africa will focus on the following actions:

 

provide life-saving assistance to conflict-displaced populations and the communities hosting them; support victims of human rights violations, including survivors of sexual and gender-based violence and children affected by conflict; provide food assistance to the poorest households and communities, with emphasis on the lean season and hard-to-reach areas, and treat children under five suffering from severe acute malnutrition; providing health care to populations outside the reach of health authorities, and improving access to drinking water and sanitation; support emergency educational programs for displaced children and those unable to attend school; strengthen disaster preparedness actions, such as early warning systems and climate change resilience measures. In addition, the Commission has already asked the budgetary authorities for an additional allocation of EUR 32 million. If approved, €25 million could be earmarked for ECOWAS member countries.

 

Context

 

West and Central Africa, which are among the poorest and most fragile regions in the world, continue to suffer from a series of severe, long-lasting humanitarian crises caused by conflict and exacerbated by disasters. other factors, such as food insecurity, chronic malnutrition, natural hazards, recurrent epidemics and the increasingly visible effects of climate change.

 

The region is currently experiencing an unprecedented food crisis, aggravated by the increase in food prices of between 40 and 60% last year, due to local factors, such as low rainfall, as well as trends planetary. Several countries in the Sahel and Central Africa are heavily dependent on grain imports from Russia and Ukraine.

 

Moreover, the countries of West and Central Africa are extremely vulnerable to hazards linked to weather phenomena, such as droughts and floods, phenomena which are further intensified by climate change. Some of the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change are in the region, including Chad and the Central African Republic.

 

Source: European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations