Embassy of the United States of America, Niger
For Immediate Release
April 6, 2022
USAID Provides More Than $311 Million in Emergency Food Assistance for People Affected by the Major Food Crisis in the Sahel and West African Region
To address growing food insecurity that is already affecting tens of millions of people across West Africa, the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing more than $311 million in additional humanitarian assistance to support vulnerable people in the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin Regions. This funding, announced today at the European-Union organized 2022 High-Level Pledging event on the Food and Nutrition Crises in the Sahel and Lake Chad regions, continues America’s enduring support for the most vulnerable people of West Africa.
This additional funding announced today will enable USAID partners to provide emergency food and nutrition assistance for more than 3.8 million people. This latest USAID contribution will include in-kind food assistance such as rice, grains, vegetable oil, and specialized food for the treatment of acute malnutrition, in addition to vouchers and cash for purchasing food from local markets, thereby supporting the local economy. This funding also supports protection activities – including safe spaces and psychosocial support – for conflict-affected communities, as well as emergency shelter, water, sanitation, and hygiene assistance.
Today’s newly announced assistance comes at a critical time, as the United Nations estimates that more than 40million people will face food shortages during the upcoming lean season in West Africa, which is the period between planting and harvest from Juneto August when food typically runs out across agricultural communities. In the Sahel, this is exacerbated by an existing poor harvest and the effects of conflict that continue to deplete household food stocks and resources, resulting in more than 20 million people needing food assistance. In the Lake Chad Basin, the ongoing conflict continues to generate widespread food insecurity, which has been exacerbated by displacement, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United States remains committed to helping the people of West Africa during this time of need, with USAID contributing more than $904 million in assistance to the Lake Chad Basin and Sahel regions combined since October 2020.
To underscore the Biden Administration’s commitment to increase collaboration and engagement with Africa, USAID recently announced its new status as full member of the Sahel Alliance during the third annual General Assembly of the Sahel Alliance in Madrid. This full membership status will offer opportunities to partner in new ways with donors, the private sector, and the host government to help strengthen development and reform efforts in the Sahel. The United States will also leverage this partnership to address growing insecurity in West Africa.