France, US pledge aid increase to fight famine in Sahel, West Africa

AFP , Wednesday 6 Apr 2022

The United States, France, and other countries pledged Wednesday to increase their financial aid to West African and Sahel countries to fight a worsening famine, during an OECD meeting.

 FAO, IFAD and WFP chiefs in Niger
The heads of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) today pledged to increase support for regional efforts addressing the critical food and nutrition security situation in the Sahel. Photo Courtesy of World Food Program official website

During a round table initiated by the EU, the Sahel region, and West Africa, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a video message that France would provide "financial support totaling 166 million euros ($181 million) " in 2022.

Responding to Niger President Mohamed Bazoum, who called for a "significant and urgent" increase in international financing, the United States pledged to give another $311 million dollars and Canada promised another 82 million dollars.

Extreme drought, the Covid-19 pandemic and now the war in Ukraine are leading factors exacerbating the risks of famine in the Sahel and West Africa, experts warned at the meeting of the OECD, a group of developed countries.

Russia and Ukraine are huge wheat exporters.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization had warned that hunger and malnutrition could hit 38.3 million people by June for a lack of appropriate measures.

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