June 20, 2024

Blinken says U.S. providing $150 million in humanitarian assistance to West and Central Africa and the Sahel Region

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken delivers remarks alongside Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Molly Phee and Zimbabwean businessman Strive Masiyiwa at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Foreign Ministers Dinner at the Department of State on December 14, 2022. [State Department photo by Freddie Everett
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken delivers remarks alongside Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Molly Phee and Zimbabwean businessman Strive Masiyiwa at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Foreign Ministers Dinner at the Department of State on December 14, 2022. [State Department photo by Freddie Everett

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on Thursday announced that the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, is providing nearly $114 million in additional life-saving humanitarian assistance for populations in West and Central Africa and the Sahel, and nearly $36 million through the State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) to support refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced persons, stateless persons, and people affected by conflict.

“Through this funding, USAID partners will continue to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance – including food, water, shelter, emergency healthcare, sanitation and hygiene, and critical nutrition services – to the most vulnerable people across the Sahel and West and Central Africa,” USAID said in a statement, adding that the nearly $36 million in additional funding from PRM will provide critical relief for thousands of refugees and other persons of concern across the region.

It wrote, “This newly announced assistance comes at a critical time when rapid climate changes – including drought and seasonal flooding – are resulting in widespread humanitarian need. The United Nations estimates that up to 45 million people could face food shortages during the upcoming lean season in West Africa, which is the period between planting and harvest from May to August when food typically runs out across agricultural communities. This will worsen an already grave food security crisis for many in rural areas. Several countries in the region have also experienced ongoing conflict that has killed thousands and resulted in the displacement of millions.

“The United States remains committed to helping the people of West and Central Africa during this time of need, with the U.S. government contributing more than $233 million in humanitarian assistance to date in fiscal year 2023.”

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