The U.N. is warning that 18 million people in Africa’s Sahel region face severe hunger in the next three months, citing the impacts of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the coronavirus pandemic, climate-induced shocks and rising costs.
The United Nations and NGOs said that a record 29 million people need humanitarian assistance in the Sahel, noting "unparalleled" insecurity and hunger across six countries in the war-torn African region.
Deadly attacks on villages in Burkina Faso have forced 150,000 people to flee in just the last three weeks, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said, warning of a displacement emergency in the wider Sahel region.
African officials and experts have warned that the number of people in need of urgent food aid across the Sahel region has more than doubled this year amid an intensification of violence and insecurity.
Mali’s foreign minister on Friday pressed the UN Security Council to quickly adopt a resolution endorsing the creation of a special force to fight the extremists increasingly plaguing North Africa's Sahel region.
The European Union says it plans to spend 50 million euros to finance the establishment of a joint African military force in the Sahel region with the declared aim of fighting terrorism, among other threats.