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Kerry Announces $51M In Additional Humanitarian Aid For Sahel Region

“[T]he United States has announced an additional $51 million in humanitarian aid to the people of the Sahel — a belt up to 1,000 kilometers wide that spans Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea — bringing its total aid to $520 million” in FY 2012, Devex’s “Pennsylvania Ave.” blog reports. “Widespread droughts in 2011, the exodus of people from Mali due to the ongoing crisis in that country, and the waning resilience of the region’s people due to the compounding crises are all factors that have placed about 17 million in need of assistance,” the blog writes, adding, “This year, the United Nations appeals for about $1.7 billion in funding to address the ‘triple crisis’ in the Sahel region, comprising Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, the Gambia, Cameroon and Nigeria.” However, “less than one-fifth of this amount has been funded,” the blog notes (Morales, 3/27). In a statement announcing the funding, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “This new humanitarian assistance will assist food insecure and conflict-affected populations in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. We remain deeply concerned about the humanitarian crisis in the Sahel and urge others to contribute generously for humanitarian operations” (3/25).