The Finnish Red Cross gives €200,000 for the Sahel relief operation

Sarah Oughton / IFRC
Image: Sarah Oughton / IFRC

The Sahel area countries are experiencing a food crisis affecting over 16 million people. The need for humanitarian aid in the Sahel area is extreme.

- There are many reasons for the food crisis, including the rise in food prices in the world market and community poverty in the Sahel area. Failed crops also contribute to the emergency. The situation is further worsened by the civil conflict in Mali that forces people to flee their homes. The wave of refugees is extensively affecting neighbouring countries, says Päivi Laurila, Deputy Director of International Operations at the Finnish Red Cross.

The Finnish Red Cross supports the operations of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Sahel. The operations which the Finnish Red Cross is funding with €200,000 focus in northern Mali and northern Niger.

- The Red Cross has organised food distribution in Mali and Niger, handed out seeds for agriculture, and arranged fuel for maintaining water delivery systems, says Laurila.

Earlier this year, the Finnish Red Cross sent money for ICRC operations in Senegal, Burkina Faso and Chad.

- The Finnish Red Cross is helping to distribute tools in Senegal and food coupons and seeds in Burkina Faso. Additionally, Finnish relief workers are working in the Sahel area, says Laurila.

The Finnish Red Cross has supported the Sahel aid operation with €3.15 million in 2012. €1.8 million was given to Niger and Mali, €1 million to Senegal and Burkina Faso, and €350,000 to Chad. The money comes from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

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