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European Commission Outlines Response to the Sahel Food Crisis

11 April 2012: Highlighting the ongoing humanitarian crisis caused by food insecurity in the Sahel region, which comprises Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, a European Commission press release outlines its efforts to provide humanitarian and development aid through mitigation and preparedness, emergency response, and recovery and resilience building.

Among the drivers of regional food insecurity, the European Commission identifies climate change and ecosystem degradation, and resulting increases in the unpredictability of rainfall. It highlights that 15.5 million people in the Sahel are currently affected due to ongoing drought and food shortages and that eight million people need immediate food aid.

While European Commission assistance is currently focused on emergency response, it notes that the recovery and resilience building phase will aim to prevent future crises through the restoration of productive assets for the most vulnerable, improving capacity, including through development of drought early warning systems, and the protection and restoration of ecosystems through promotion of sustainable agriculture and water management. [European Commission Press Release]