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African solidarity for Sahel countries and Horn of Africa urged

Congo Republic President makes vibrant appeal

Photo: ©FAO/Frank Nyakairu
President Denis Sassou Nguesso (right) with FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva

27 April 2012, Brazzaville - Republic of the Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso has made a “vibrant appeal” for Africa to show solidarity with countries in the African Sahel region and the Horn of Africa where  millions of people are currently facing a food crisis.

In a speech marking the opening of FAO's 27th Regional Conference for Africa in Brazzaville yesterday, the President called for concrete efforts to achieve sustainable food security throughout the continent and to establish “a durable climate of peace and concord, without which all our dreams of development would remain mere fantasies and illusions”.

He continued, “That is why, here in Brazzaville, the Republic of the Congo, my country, is issuing a vibrant appeal for a movement of solidarity on Africa’s part towards the countries of the Sahel which are suffering the severe and relentless consequences of a crisis involving politics, security, food and the climate.”

He underlined that the situation in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel “shows how much the degradation of food security in certain regions of our continent remains a challenge”.

Solidarity shown

During last year’s famine in Somalia, Africa had shown it could act in solidarity to assist crisis-struck populations.

“What we undertook yesterday with some success we can do again today if we are moved by the same will and the same determination,” he added.  

President Sassou Nguesso also hailed FAO’s “major role in removing constraints and obstacles to agricultural development”.

Speaking at the Regional Conference yesterday, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva warned that serious funding gaps to assist herders, agro-pastoralists and farmers in the ongoing rainy season in the Sahel and Horn of Africa total over 110 million dollars.