Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (8 April) on the humanitarian situation in, and German food aid for, the Sahel region:
In the Sahel region, more than five million people are at risk of starvation. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the food supply situation is likely to further deteriorate. Covid-19 puts those who are under- and malnourished at particular risk.
To get food aid to the affected population in the Sahel, the Federal Foreign Office has this year made available a total of 10 million euros to the World Food Programme (WFP). This enables the WFP to rapidly and flexibly get essential food supplies to those in need, and to make the preparations that are now needed to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Germany’s financial support also goes to the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), with the aim of reaching those who require assistance in poorly accessible regions. UNHAS stands ready to assist all humanitarian aid workers in areas of operation; in some countries it is the only available transport option. Particularly now, it is important for those who are the most vulnerable to keep receiving life-saving humanitarian assistance.
We are currently examining whether additional humanitarian aid can be provided to those who are most severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.