The European Commission (E.C.) on Monday "announced an increase in funding to the Sahel by 40 million euros [$50.5 million] as the food crisis is set to peak in the coming weeks putting 18 million people at risk from hunger," the Guardian reports, noting that the new money brings the total amount from the E.U. to 337 million euros, or $425 million (Tran, 6/18). The E.C. made the announcement at a donor meeting in Brussels, where international representatives sought to mobilize aid, according to VOA News (Palus, 6/18). "Aid agency Oxfam urged donors at the meeting to fill a 'massive funding gap' to fight hunger in the Sahel," Reuters writes (Ebbs, 6/18).
The high-level meeting, hosted by the E.C., "launch[ed] a new partnership on strengthening the long-term resilience of the Sahel belt, stretching from the Atlantic to the Red Sea," the Guardian reports. "The initiative, called Agir Sahel (Alliance Globale pour l'Initiative Resilience), seeks to ensure that the people in the Sahel can better cope with future droughts by focusing on food security and agriculture," the newspaper writes, adding that the "Sahel working group called for donors to meet the $864 million funding gap still needed to meet the immediate emergency needs and for longer term investment in efforts to avoid future food crises" (6/18).