DAKAR - As conflicts and rising food prices continue to weaken the food security situation in the Western and Central African region, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a euros 8.4 million contribution from France aiming to respond to the emergency food and nutrition needs of vulnerable populations in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.
The contribution will enable WFP to provide country-specific response including food distributions, nutrition support and school meals for 469,000 people affected by escalating conflicts, climate change and rising food prices in the region.
“The economic impact of COVID has driven more people into hunger in a region already hard hit by conflict and the effects of climate,” said Chris Nikoi, WFP’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa. “Every day more people are leaving their homes looking for safety and food. We thank France for maintaining and increasing its support to the World Food Programme for the most vulnerable. "
France has been a long-standing partner of WFP, and its contributions have been increasing steadily since 2017 to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable communities.
"This contribution from France is particularly in line with its International Strategy for Food Security, Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture (2019-2024), one of the 5 objectives that aims to strengthen assistance actions to populations in vulnerable situations and to improve their resilience,” said Houcine Dahmane, Regional Cooperation Advisor for West Africa in the French Embassy in Burkina Faso.
Thanks to voluntary contributions from its donors, WFP managed to scale up its operations in 2020 and assist 18.2 million people in the West and Central African region, a significant increase from the 10.6 million reached in 2019. Based on this success, WFP plans to assist up to 17.6 million people during this lean season, with special attention to areas with access challenges, such as central Sahel and northern Nigeria.
WFP is also working to improve the accessibility and availability of nutritious food, both by providing assistance in crisis situations and by strengthening systems for longer-term solutions. In central Sahel, Chad and Nigeria, WFP plans to assist nearly 2.2 million young children and pregnant or breastfeeding women, with a nutrition treatment and preventive interventions.
In the context of growing insecurity, WFP is particularly grateful for France's support.
The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
Richard Mbouet, WFP/Dakar
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