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Central Sahel: Donors pledge more than $1.7B to scale up aid

20 Oct 2020


A displaced mother with her young son at a UN-supported settlement in Barsologho in the north of Burkina Faso. Credit: OCHA/Giles Clarke

At a high-level ministerial conference held today on the Central Sahel, 24 donors pledged more than US$1.7 billion to scale up life-saving humanitarian aid to millions of people in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

The amount includes US$996.8 million for 2020 and $725.4 million for 2021 and beyond. Further financial information is available online.

Once released, the funds will help some 10 million people for the remainder of this year and through 2021 with nutrition and food, health services, water and sanitation, shelter, education, protection and support to survivors of gender-based violence.

The virtual conference was co-hosted by Denmark, Germany, the European Union and the United Nations.

Speaking at the opening of the event, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, emphasized that life in the Central Sahel continues to get much harder for millions of people.

“We are here to raise awareness, to raise funding, and to agree on concrete policy commitments to address the root causes of the Sahel crisis. That is our only real option if we want to avoid far more human suffering,” Mr. Lowcock said.

Also speaking during the opening was UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who underscored that the Central Sahel region is at a breaking point.


People living in the border region between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger are now at an epicentre of conflict, poverty and climate change.

More than 13 million people in the region need humanitarian assistance. The number of people facing acute hunger has tripled over the past year to reach 7.4 million. Some 1.5 million people are internally displaced, a twentyfold increase over two years. And lockdowns and other COVID-19 prevention measures have pushed an additional 6 million people into extreme poverty.