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Famine risk, Alfano: “Emergency assistance from Italy for Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen”

“Responding to the appeal made by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, we have arranged, through Italian Cooperation, a package of humanitarian aid worth 10 million euros in response to the very serious food crisis that is endangering the survival of 20 million people in Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia, including 1.4 million children under 5 with acute malnutrition problems”.

This statement was made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano, specifying that the actions in question will be implemented by “the UN Agencies working on the front line of the colossal human effort currently under way, in particular the World Food Programme and UNICEF, as well as the Committee of the International Red Cross”.

Specifically, the action taken by Italian Cooperation will provide funding of three million euros for the WFP and UNICEF to distribute food rations and water in the States of North Eastern Nigeria, with particular attention being paid to children and pregnant women. Two million euros will be destined for Somalia for the distribution of food and medical assistance, entrusted to the WFP and the International Red Cross, respectively, in the areas most seriously hit by the drought.

In South Sudan as well, Italian Cooperation will be working with the WFP and UNICEF, providing 2 million euros to fund a programme of school canteens and to combat acute malnutrition in children. Finally, three million euros will be allocated to Yemen for food distribution by the WFP and to provide assistance in the health sector and support for hospitals with the Yemeni Red Crescent.

“The sums put in place,” concluded Minister Alfano, “are not the end of our humanitarian commitment to the affected countries. We shall soon be making further resources available to fund other emergency activities, the implementation of which will be entrusted to Italian civil society organisations”.