By Raphael Oni
The European Union has again extended it hands of fellowship to Nigeria and 7 other African Countries to assist in combating the effect of the corona virus in the sub-Sahara region. The EU is reaffirming its solidarity with vulnerable people in countries in the Sahel and Central Africa through a humanitarian budget of €210 million in 2021. The funding will be allocated to humanitarian projects in the following eight countries: Burkina Faso (€24.3 million), Cameroon (€17.5 million), the Central African Republic (€21.5 million), Chad (€35.5 million) Mali (€31.9 million), Mauritania (€10 million), Niger (€32.3 million) and Nigeria (€37 million).
His Excellency Janez Lenarčič, European Union Commissioner for Crisis Management, hinted on the fact that the effect instability, armed conflicts and the effect of the pandemic has caused the region a great pain. In his words, “Worsening instability and armed conflicts, together with the COVID-19 pandemic and natural hazards, are having a devastating impact in the Sahel and countries in Central Africa. The EU remains committed to help reduce suffering among people in need in the region. While humanitarian aid is there to bring emergency relief, longer-lasting improvements can only be brought about through the political will of national
governments and good governance.”
The EU’s humanitarian funding in the Sahel and Central Africa countries is targeted to: provide life-saving assistance to the people affected by conflict and to the communities hosting people who had to flee; provide protection to vulnerable people and support the respect of International Humanitarian Law and the humanitarian principles; support measures to address food crises and severe acute malnutrition among children under 5;enhance the immediate response in terms of basic services to most vulnerable population, especially as concerns health care for all or education for children caught up in humanitarian crises; and strengthen fragile communities’ preparedness for crises, such as mass displacements of people, or recurrent food or climate-related crises.
The EU is a leading, long-standing humanitarian donor in the Sahel and Central Africa, one of the world’s poorest and most fragile regions. In 2020, the EU supported humanitarian interventions in the region with more than €213 million. More than 19 million people in need benefitted from EU funded
humanitarian operations initiated in 2020 in West and Central Africa, including around 6.3 million people who were provided with food security and livelihood support, more than 3 million people assisted on disaster preparedness and risk reduction, around 2.8 million people offered access to health services, and almost 1.8 million people receiving protection support.