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HomeNewsNorway to Help Plug 'Funding Hole' in Aid to Troubled Sahel Region

Norway to Help Plug ‘Funding Hole’ in Aid to Troubled Sahel Region

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Norway is to give an extra 3.3 million in aid to countries in West Africa’s troubled Sahel region, where a string of successive coups has set off a vast humanitarian crisis. The Nordic nation has already donated 20 million euros so far this year.

Oslo’s additional aid will go to Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad and will be channelled through the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

“While the eyes of the planet are focused on Gaza and the war between Israel and Hamas, acute and enduring crises are taking place around the world,” Norway’s International Development Minister, Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, told the French press agency AFP.

“There is a significant deterioration in the humanitarian situation and, at the same time, a big hole in funding,” she added, highlighting the fact that only 40 percent of the region’s humanitarian needs were being funded.

The Norwegian government said the Sahel was plagued by “persistent and increasing violence and insecurity”, as well as climate shocks and political instability.

West Africa has seen a series of military coups in recent years, including in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, which have also been hit by jihadism and violence.

“Humanitarian needs are greater than ever,” said Tvinnereim, adding that support would be given to humanitarian actors and not “de facto authorities”.

Mali’s ruling junta, which seized power in 2020, in June demanded the departure of UN peacekeepers which had been deployed since 2013.

The pullout of the stabilisation mission known as Minusma, due to continue until 31 December, has ignited fears that fighting for control of the north of the country will intensify between troops and armed factions.

“The UN estimates that 37 million people are in need of humanitarian aid and protection in Burkina Faso, northern Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger and northeastern Nigeria,” said Tvinnereim.

“In Mali alone, almost 8.8 million people are in need of humanitarian aid. That’s an increase of 175 percent since 2019,” she added.

At the end of August Norway closed its embassy in Bamako, which served Mali as well as Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger and Chad.

Source: RFI

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