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The European Union strengthens food security and fights hunger in the Sahel region

By European Commission
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BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, March 23, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Today, EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, proposed an aid package, worth €164.5 million, to increase food security in the Sahel countries. The region is currently affected by a food crisis as 15 million people are at risk of hunger. The European Commission has already mobilised €123.5 million for the early humanitarian response to the crisis.

Commissioner Piebalgs said: "The EU has taken immediate action to respond to the difficult situation in the region and, as we see that the crisis is growing, we are stepping up our efforts to support the people and the governments. By supporting rural development and food production, we tackle the roots causes of recurring food crises in the region and build resilience of Sahel people and countries. With the strong involvement of our partners we can still avert the major crisis and save a lot of lives, especially of women and children who are usually the first victims of food insecurity."

The new aid package will support the existing national food security systems managed by governments. In addition, cash/food for work initiatives will be reinforced to benefit the poor so they can afford to buy food and the farmers will receive vouchers for seeds and fertilizers. Moreover, information on food security and nutrition will be improved through improved early warning systems on the food situation.

The full version and the background memo available online: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/12/304&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en