DAKAR, Senegal, June 24, 2020/ — A rise in violence and the multi-layered humanitarian crisis in the Central Sahel region have resulted in the internal displacement of 1.25 million people.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is appealing for USD 37.8 million to scale-up its operations, provide urgent lifesaving assistance and address the transition and recovery needs of 460,000 individuals in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
More than three million people struggle with severe food insecurity and 9.4 million are in dire need of assistance in these countries at a time when COVID-19 is spreading rapidly throughout West Africa. Furthermore, the closure of markets and borders meant to prevent the spread of the disease is limiting livelihood opportunities and further aggravating an already dire situation.
Significant gaps remain in the humanitarian response due to the lack of resources and access in some areas. As part of its efforts to support the response of governments, IOM is scaling up its operations in the three countries, in coordination with local partners, to ensure those in needs receive assistance.
Through this appeal, IOM will be able to provide shelter and non-food items in communities most affected by displacement and temporary collective sites. It will also help IOM continue implementing community stabilization activities to reinforce social cohesion between refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities.
“The COVID-19 response should not be implemented at the expense of existing programmes and activities,” said Sophie Nonnenmacher, IOM acting Regional Director for West and Central Africa.
“Alleviating the urgent needs of affected population and stabilizing the region, at security and economic levels, should remain a priority if we want to prevent the next humanitarian emergency,” IOM’s Nonnenmacher added. “Distracting our attention from the deteriorating situation in the Sahel could wipe out the collective efforts made over decades.”
The region presents specific obstacles related to the weakness of basic social services including health care, low-income economies and an informal sector which limits livelihoods options. These challenges are compounded by growing security issues – such as violent extremism and intercommunal tensions –unfolding against a backdrop of climate change, land degradation and water scarcity.
Additional funding requirements for COVID-19 related programming in the targeted countries have been included in IOM’s USD 54 million West and Central Africa Regional Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan.
IOM’s Global Crisis Response Platform provides an overview of IOM’s plans and funding requirements to respond to the evolving needs and aspirations of those impacted by, or at risk of, crisis and displacement in 2020 and beyond. The Platform is regularly updated as crises evolve and new situations emerge.