A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Oxfam reaction to donor conference in Brussels to discuss the Sahel crisis
Following today's donor meeting in Brussels to discuss the food crisis in the Sahel region of Africa, Oxfam deputy humanitarian director Graham MacKay said:
On the humanitarian response to the current crisis in the Sahel:
"We welcome the leadership and commitment shown by the European Commission in getting donors around the table, and in increasing its humanitarian funding to the Sahel by €40 million; but there is so much more that needs to be done to stop this crisis from turning into a catastrophe.
More than 18 million people are running out of food and we have just half of the funding that we need to protect millions of lives. Time is running out. More countries need to step up immediately, before it is too late."
On launch of new partnership to support the prevention of future crisis:
"The new EC partnership offers an opportunity to break the cycle of hunger. We should all stand behind this. It would be unforgiveable if this opportunity to rewrite the future of the Sahel was crushed under the weight of empty promises."
Watch the new short film: Ali Mostafa speaks out on behalf of Oxfam on the Sahel food crisis
For more detail on Oxfam's response and reports on the Sahel crisis, please visit: http://www.oxfam.org/sahel.
For more information and to arrange an interview please contact:
Angela Corbalan in Brussels on +32 22 34 11 10 (desk) or + 32 (0) 473 56 22 60 (mobile) firstname.lastname@example.org, or twitter.com/angelacorbalan
Christina Corbett in Dakar on +221 777 42 80 13 email@example.com
Notes to Editors
The UN has launched an emergency appeal for $1.6 billion to respond to the crisis, of which just $683 million has been received, leaving a shortfall of over $900m. An additional $195m has been mobilized for projects outside of the official appeal. (Source: UN Financial Tracking System: 18 June 2012)
Nearly 400,000 people have signed a petition calling for urgent funding to the Sahel crisis launched by global campaigning organization Avaaz with Oxfam ambassador and Senegalese singer Baaba Maal, and Africans Act 4 Africa. The petition was delivered today to donor governments at the meeting.
To arrange an interview with Baaba Maal, please contact Christina Corbett or Angela Corbalan as above.
Photographs of the petition handover can be found here: http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/photo/photoDetailsNews.cfm?sitelang=en&rid=7832#19