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UK increases assistance to Sahel food crisis

Jun 22, 2012, 2:23 PM

The United Kingdom recently announced a further £10 million in UK assistance to help towards the food crisis affecting the Sahel region.

The United Kingdom has so far donated £43 million to the Sahel food crisis funding organisations such as the World Food Programme, UNICEF, Save The Children, Oxfam, International Committee of the Red Cross, and the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).

The UK is also a major contributor to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) which recently announced £3 million for The Gambia.

The UK has so far contributed £11 million to (CERF) and £15 million to the European Commission’s Humanitarian Office (ECHO) which earlier this week also increased its humanitarian funding to the region by a further £32.2 million.

The United Kingdom no longer has a UK Department for International Development (DfID) office in The Gambia, but continues to fund development work in the country through its multilateral contributions to the United Nations, European Commission and support of non-governmental organisations.

Commenting, UK High Commissioner to The Gambia David Morley said – “The food crisis currently affecting The Gambia and the wider Sahel region is having a devastating impact on people all across the country.I want to let Gambians know that the UK is playing its part funding large amounts of the United Nations and European Commission appeals.We are also giving financial support to a number of organisations working within The Gambia and the wider region.We will continue to monitor the situation in The Gambia and across the region.”

The United Nations has estimated that over 35% of The Gambia’s population are at risk of food insecurity with grain output 50% below average.