Humanitarian Assistance to Sahel Region

Press Statement
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
March 29, 2012

The United States is deeply concerned about the humanitarian emergency in the Sahel region of Africa. Around 10 million people are in need of emergency assistance due to erratic rainfall, failed harvests, high food prices and conflict across the region that includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. In response to current needs, including protection and assistance for refugees, and to prevent a potentially much more serious situation, I am pleased to announce that the United States is providing an additional $120 million in emergency assistance. With these funds, the U.S. Government is providing nearly $200 million this fiscal year in humanitarian assistance to the Sahel region.

We are currently providing targeted humanitarian assistance that addresses acute malnutrition and hunger and builds resilience, and we are also focused on long-term approaches to establish lasting food security. We are making highly nutritious therapeutic food available for malnourished children. In addition to providing life-saving food, we are working to help vulnerable families and communities buy locally-available food and services, while developing small-scale projects and infrastructure that can help build the resilience necessary to withstand future drought.

In partnership with other donors, we have taken early action in response to early warnings. We are targeting specific pockets of great need while working toward sustainable, longer term development. Together, we are saving lives, mitigating impact, and building resilience.

PRN: 2012/485