Hundreds of thousands of people in Niger and Chad will benefit from specific support to prevent the threat of imminent starvation, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell announced today.
Mr Mitchell also urged other international partners, including France, to increase their response to the crisis.
This UK aid will feed 325,000 people in August and treat 8,000 more malnourished children in the region. This is on top of support the UK is already providing which will treat 77,500 children for malnutrition and provide seeds for thousands of families to grow their crops.
More than 4.6 million people in the area do not have enough food to eat and poor rainfalls and rising food prices have caused the situation to deteriorate.
Charities and agencies on the ground have been working to deliver vital aid on the ground but the situation is even worse than initially thought, and there is a huge shortfall in funding.
The Government’s funding will go to the World Food Programme, UNICEF, Oxfam and Save the Children to provide food and treatments for malnourished children.
Andrew Mitchell said:
Niger and Chad are two of the least developed countries in the world but their plight has been largely forgotten by the world’s leaders.
The current humanitarian situation is dire and millions of people are desperately in need of food. It is for that reason that we are announcing some very specific help to assist those who need it most. But we also need to address the longer-term issues of food security in the region.
We cannot do this on our own, which is why I will be speaking to my French counterparts to urge them to join us in taking action. I call on other leaders to increase their response to this crisis before it’s too late.