The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the European Union (EU) announced that they are partnering in an 18-month project to improve the production, availability and consumption of nutritious foods to prevent malnutrition among women and children in Africa’s Central Sahel region comprising Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Northern Nigeria.
The project, backed with a contribution of €20 million by the EU through the European union emergency trust fund for Africa, will see WFP provide immediate assistance to reduce food insecurity and malnutrition while supporting the entire value chain for nutritious foods.
The combined effects of conflict and climate change, compounded by the socio-economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, are disrupting food security and nutrition in the region. Close to three million children are at risk of becoming acutely malnourished across the three countries in the Central Sahel.
“The EU engagement in the Central Sahel has been and will continue to be multidimensional. Along with our efforts to support governance and security, we are committed to providing essential services in remote areas,” said Sandra Kramer, European Commission Director for Africa for International Partnerships Directorate General.
“This action with WFP will enable the production of locally produced nutritious food. It will create sustainable jobs and provide the most vulnerable with the food assistance they need to overcome the crisis at stake in the region.”
“We want to tackle malnutrition from the root and also ensure nutritious foods are available in a timely manner to respond to present and future shocks in the Central Sahel,” said Chris Nikoi, WFP’s Regional Director for Western Africa.