Food Security: EU approves €314 million for Nigeria, others

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The European Union (EU) has approved €314 million in funds for Nigeria and six other partner countries in the region in a bid to ensure food security and nutrition in West Africa and the Sahel region following the war in Ukraine.



The EU announced its support at the high-level event on food security in the Sahel and Lake Chad regions co-organized by the EU, the Sahel and West Africa Club and the Global Network against food crises.



According to the EU, a total of €554 million in 2022 will be targeted at increasing food security in the Sahel and Lake Chad, where millions of people already suffer an acute situation and whose situation could worsen.



Growing Food Insecurity in the Lake Chad Basin.



The funds include a humanitarian response and support to work on the root causes of food insecurity in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger.



To respond to the overwhelming emergency needs in the region, particularly to the looming food insecurity and nutrition crises, the EU had already made available €173 million in humanitarian assistance and is making available an additional €67 million, bringing the total contribution for the affected countries to €240 million.



Meanwhile, the EU had set aside €654 million to enhance the sustainability of food systems and address the underlying causes of food and nutrition insecurity in a full Humanitarian-Development-Peace approach, to be implemented in the seven countries from 2021 to 2024.



Out of these, the EU will make available an overall amount of €314 million before the end of 2022 for these 7 countries, and support the region with regional programmes.



Speaking on the development, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, said:



“The brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine has sparked massive food prices hikes and has worsened the risk of food shortages.



“Food insecurity inevitably increases instability and inequalities. To avoid it, we need to help our partners to become more self-sufficient and work together to strengthen the multilateral food system.



“Today, we are reinforcing our political and financial commitment to countries in the Sahel and Lake Chad regions, where millions of people already suffer an acute situation and who could become other victims of the war in Ukraine if we don’t act fast.”



On his part, the EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, added:


“Increase of humanitarian needs in the region of the Sahel and Lake Chad is unprecedented. More than 31 million people will find themselves in need of urgent food assistance this year.


“Implications of the tragic events in Ukraine will only further deteriorate an already catastrophic food crisis, pushing people to the very brink of survival.


“The EU will not neglect other humanitarian crises around the world and will continue to provide humanitarian aid also in these African regions.



“However, humanitarian assistance is not enough.


“The renewed international political commitment is one of the crucial steps to address the root causes of the crisis as to ensure badly needed longer-term resilience of the most vulnerable communities.”



Furthermore, Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, in his remarks, said:


“The exacerbation of the food crisis today is an immense threat to people living in the region. It calls on all of us.



“As we have seen great solidarity across Europe recently, the EU’s renewed political and financial support to our partners in the Sahel and Lake Chad demonstrates we continue to stand in solidarity with the people, affected by Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine. 

“We are in an unprecedented situation, which I witnessed when visiting the region last week.


“With the international community, in a multilateral approach, we will keep on addressing the underlying causes of food and nutrition crises and to help build the resilience of people affected.”




Source: Agro Nigeria

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