EU announces €175 million in EU humanitarian aid for West and Central Africa

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This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


The EU is reaffirming its solidarity with vulnerable people in countries in West and Central Africa through a humanitarian budget of €175 million in 2022. The funding will be allocated to humanitarian projects in the following eight countries: Burkina Faso (€23.5 million),Cameroon (€16 million),the Central African Republic (€17 million), Chad (€26.5 million), Mali (€25 million), Mauritania (€8.5 million), Niger (€24 million) and Nigeria (€34 million).

Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “A complex humanitarian crisis continues to affect the populations of West and Central Africa. Grave violations against children, gender-based violence, abductions and assaults, arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial executions are now systematic occurrences. The humanitarian needs are exacerbated further by an unprecedented food crisis, natural disasters, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The EU’s assistance will be used to alleviate basic needs, including through the provision of food, health and protection assistance as well as improved access to safe water.

The EU’s humanitarian funding in West and Central Africa countries aims to:

  • provide life-saving assistance to the people affected by conflict and to the communities hosting people who had to flee;
  • provide protection to vulnerable people and support the respect of International Humanitarian Law and the humanitarian principles;
  • support measures to address food crises and severe acute malnutrition among children under 5;
  • enhance the immediate response in terms of basic services to most vulnerable population, especially as concerns health care for all or education for children caught up in humanitarian crises; and
  • strengthen fragile communities’ preparedness for crises, such as mass displacements of people, or recurrent food or climate-related crises.

This assistance is part of the wider EU support provided to the region, including through ‘Team Europe´ contributions to the Coronavirus Global Response, support to the vaccine distribution effort through the COVAX Facility, and other actions providing longer-term support to strengthen fragile health systems.

Background

The West and Central Africa region is one of the poorest and most fragile regions in the world. It is affected by a combination of major protracted and recurrent humanitarian crises driven by conflicts and worsened by food insecurity, chronic undernutrition, natural hazards, epidemics and climate change. In 2021, more than 35.2 million people in the region required emergency assistance.

Humanitarian action alone cannot solve the underlying and often structural causes of the humanitarian crises in the region. The EU is therefore applying and promoting a triple nexus approach (humanitarian-development-peace), where donors work together to further increase the coherence between humanitarian and development aid and stabilisation actors.

In 2021, the EU supported humanitarian interventions in the region with more than €265 million. Part of this funding has been used to help tackle the food crisis in the region, mainly affecting people in conflict-hit areas. EU humanitarian assistance supports people affected by conflict and insecurity, providing them with shelter, emergency food and nutritional aid, access to health care and clean water, to treatment for malnourished children and protection for the vulnerable.

In addition, the European Commission is providing €100 million in humanitarian assistance to support the rollout of vaccination campaigns in countries in Africa with critical humanitarian needs and fragile health systems. At least €25 million of this funding will be supporting vaccination campaigns for the most vulnerable in West and Central Africa.

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