UN allocates $75 million to boost aid operations in the Sahel, Horn of Africa

Women carry rations distributed at the Doro refugee camp. Photo: Stephen Graham/IRIN

23 July 2014 – The United Nations humanitarian chief today allocated $75 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to bolster desperately needed relief operations in two of the world’s most neglected regions: the West African Sahel and the Horn of Africa.

“With so many crises competing for attention, many people in need are forgotten,” said Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, in a press statement today.

The money will go to 11 countries which were selected based on a global review of critical aid operations that are facing funding deficits. It will help relief agencies provide urgent aid to millions of people in these regions affected by violent conflict, mass displacement and deepening food insecurity.

“This allocation will help critical emergency operations in the Sahel and in the Horn of Africa, regions with high levels of malnutrition and food insecurity. People are hungry. Their plight was front-page news just two years ago. These countries could fall back into crisis if we don’t help now,” Ms. Amos said.

Countries in the Horn will receive $44.5 million. The largest single allocation, $20 million, will go to Somalia, where 2.9 million people are struggling to feed themselves.

Humanitarian agencies in Ethiopia, Kenya and Eritrea will receive $12 million, $10 million and $2.5 million, respectively. Another $30.5 million will allow aid agencies to boost emergency operations in seven countries in the Sahel including Niger, Cameroon, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Nigeria and Gambia.

This is the second of two annual rounds of allocations from the CERF Underfunded Emergencies window, designed to ensure life-saving relief work continues in countries where needs are high.

When CERF was established in 2005, humanitarian appeals sought $6 billion in funding worldwide and by mid-2014, that amount has nearly tripled to $17 billion. Since its inception, the Fund has allocated more than $3.4 billion for humanitarian agencies operating in 88 countries.

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