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Conflict not only problem for Sahel, EU says

June 17, 2013 at 10:35 AM

N'DJAMENA, Chad, June 17 (UPI) -- Ongoing conflict across North Africa is compounded by food and humanitarian crises in the region, the European commissioner for crisis response said Monday.

The European Commission announced it was releasing $92 million in assistance to help address humanitarian needs in the Sahel region.

European Commissioner for Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva said from Chad the region was in dire need of donor support.

She said conflict in Mali was having a spillover effect. Last week, the U.S. government issued security advisories for Niger and Chad.

"The food and nutrition emergency has been aggravated by the impact of the conflict in Mali, but also by natural disasters in the region," she said in a statement.

Al-Qaida and nomadic fighters claimed control over northern Mali following a coup in 2012.

Georgieva said there are alarming signs the humanitarian situation would become worst ahead of the rainy season.

"Even as we help the most vulnerable survive, we must also help build their resilience -- that's the only effective and sustainable way to address food insecurity and malnutrition," she said. "New funds are essential to make this possible."

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