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Central Sahel: Upcoming ministerial conference on humanitarian situation

16 Oct 2020


Maradi Refugee Settlement, southern Niger, December 2019. Credit: OCHA/Giles Clarke

Next Tuesday, 20 October, OCHA, 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 conference aims to instill a more acute sense of urgency among policymakers about the situation in the Central Sahel, to raise money for humanitarian action – our response plans in the three countries are only about 40 per cent funded – and to encourage Sahelian and donor countries to offer specific, longer-term policy commitments to build resilience and stave off future humanitarian needs.

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 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.

In all this, women and girls are especially vulnerable, and gender-based violence going up.

The event will be webcast on UN Web TV, and conference programme and background documents are available online.