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Central Sahel: High-level pledging event on the humanitarian crisis

19 Oct 2020


Three young girls at a UN-supported settlement for displaced people in Barsologho in the north of Burkina Faso, May 2019. Credit: OCHA/Giles Clarke

On Tuesday, 20 October, the UN, together with Denmark, Germany and the European Union, will host a ministerial conference on the sharply deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Central Sahel, which covers Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

The Central Sahel faces one of the world’s fastest-growing humanitarian crises, with more than 13 million people requiring urgent humanitarian assistance – 5 million more than estimated at the beginning of the year.

To deliver life-saving assistance for the remainder of this year and in 2021, the UN and humanitarian partners seek up to US$1.4 billion. Immediate action and additional funding are urgently needed.

Ahead of the conference, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, spoke with a reporter from the Associated Press. In that interview, the UN humanitarian chief said that he hoped the event will not only raise $1 billion for the three countries at the epicentre of a humanitarian crisis in Africa’s Sahel region, but also spur leaders to address the underlying causes, including increasing conflict and insecurity, weak governance and a lack of development. The article is available online.

In an interview with the Guardian, Mr. Lowcock emphasized that Africa’s Sahel region is at the centre of accelerating climate change and “a canary in the coalmine of our warming planet”. The article is also available online.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres also spoke about the crisis in the Sahel and tomorrow’s event in an interview with Le Monde.

The event will be webcast on UN Web TV.