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High Level Meeting on the Situation in the Sahel

Joint statement calls for urgent scale up of assistance

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today that there was still time to avoid food security crises in the Sahel, during a high level meeting convened by the World Food Programme (WFP) to discuss the situation in that region.

Drawing on lessons learned from the Horn of Africa, the Director-General said that we needed to assure that early warning led to early action, that a twin track approach be used to provide critical emergency support and to protect the livelihoods and assets of pastoralists and farmers. He also stressed the need for national governments and regional bodies to lead the efforts to promote food security, with the support of the Rome-based agencies and other humanitarian and development partners.

At the end of the meeting, United Nations agencies, the European Commission and USAID released a joint statement calling for an urgent scale up of humanitarian, rehabilitation and development assistance to address rising levels of hunger and malnutrition caused by the combined effect of drought, high food prices, displacement and conflict affecting the Sahel region of West Africa. 

15 February 2012