Today, at the high-level launch of the United Nations’ Sahel Humanitarian Response Plan in Rome, Italy, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance Nancy Lindborg announced USAID’s RISE (Resilience in the Sahel-Enhanced) Initiative. RISE commits more than $130 million over the first two years of a five-year effort to build resilience to recurrent crisis in West Africa’s Sahel, a region where chronic poverty, food insecurity, drought, and violent extremism collide—and some 18.7 million people faced food insecurity in 2012 due to severe drought for the third time in a decade. Learn More
"Higher food productivity is needed to address the food crisis. Nuclear techniques in development will help increase food productivity."
We just completed our trip together. If you’ve never had the chance to travel with him, I recommend it. He is indefatigable, he is incredibly well-versed in all the in’s and out’s of refugee crises, and of course he is quite committed to the cause of refugees. That was partly the reason for our trip, was to bring attention to a relatively neglected crisis.
It’s really three crises, I would say. It’s the food crisis in the Sahel region, it’s what’s happened in Mali, the conflict that has beset the north of that country, and it’s also the refugee flows to neighboring countries. So in Burkina Faso we traveled north to visit the Damba refugee camp. We met with refugees. We sat and talked with them and got a much better feel for the particular crisis at hand involving refugees from Mali.
The United States is very concerned about the crisis, and we’re also concerned that there are not sufficient resources going to it. The United States has provided $355 million worth of aid and food to countries in the Sahel and the refugee portion of that is $34.5 million. The largest piece of that goes to UNHCR."