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Press Release

Press Releases

DfID: Emergency aid for Sahel to reach half a million people

Department for International Development press release

Britain will send life-saving emergency aid to over 500,000 people across the Sahel region of West Africa, including high-protein food to help treat 80,000 severely malnourished children, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced today.

The package of UK assistance will support those families hardest hit by the current food and nutrition crisis.

Early UN estimates suggest that in 2013 millions of children will continue to be at risk of developing acute malnutrition, with an estimated one million children at risk of dying without urgent nutrition and medical treatment.

UK help is vital to prevent this crisis turning into an emergency. Political instability in Mali is likely to cause a major increase in the number of people forced to leave their homes and facing an uncertain future.

Justine Greening said:

"2013 will be a hugely difficult year for the people of the Sahel. Rising food prices and political instability in the region could combine to put millions at risk of hunger and force many more out of their homes.

"That's why it is crucial that Britain, with our international partners, acts now to ensure the most vulnerable are protected. This support will help hundreds of thousands of people across the Sahel get the food, medicine and supplies they need to survive.

"In 2012, the international community's early, pre-emptive action helped to blunt the impact of the food crisis. By taking similar steps this year, we can continue to ensure the most vulnerable people in the Sahel are not forgotten."

The support announced today will help:

* Over 150,000 people in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania receive food in the first three months of 2013 through the World Food Programme;

* Over 80,000 children under five suffering from severe acute malnutrition receive high-protein emergency food across the region through UNICEF;

* Over 80,000 refugees receive a comprehensive package of support, including primary healthcare, protection and education in Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania through the UN's Refugee Agency, UNHCR; and

* Over 250,000 people in conflict-affected areas of Niger and Mali receive emergency health and medicine, food, seeds and tools, cash for work and livestock support through the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The International Development Secretary announced the support in response to the United Nations Annual Appeals launch event held on Friday 14 December.



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