The United States is providing an additional $51 million in humanitarian assistance to the people of the Sahel region, Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday.
"The Sahel is one of the poorest regions of the world, and is experiencing a complex crisis of drought, flooding, failed harvests, and disrupted livelihoods, all of which are exacerbated by the conflict in Mali," Kerry said in a statement.
The secretary said the funds will go toward food insecurity across the region and the protection of refugees and internally displace persons.
"In 2012, an estimated 18.7 million people in the Sahel were at risk of food insecurity, including one million children at risk of severe acute malnutrition. Since the beginning of the conflict in Mali in January 2012, nearly 450,000 Malians have been displaced internally or across borders as refugees," Kerry said.
"This new humanitarian assistance will assist food insecure and conflict-affected populations in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. We remain deeply concerned about the humanitarian crisis in the Sahel and urge others to contribute generously for humanitarian operations," Kerry said.
The additional $51 million brings the total U.S. humanitarian contribution to the region to nearly $520 million since fiscal year 2012