Vice Minister Emanuela Del Re held a VTC meeting with the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Sir Mark Lowcock, to discuss the humanitarian situation in the Central Sahel. Ms. Del Re and Mr. Lowcock agreed on the need to take preventive action to reduce the consequences of humanitarian crises; to address the root causes of the crisis, creating synergies between the humanitarian, development and peace dimensions; to provide innovative schemes that can also encourage private capital involvement and make up for the chronic lack of funds.
“The Central Sahel is a strategic priority for Italy, so we share the international community’s concerns about the need to respond to the growing vulnerability caused by the fierce interaction between poverty, violent extremism, conflict and climate-related risks, further deepened by the Covid-19 pandemic” – the Vice Minister said.
Del Re then recalled her recent visits to Niger and Mali, which reinforced her perception “that we need to address the root causes of the humanitarian crisis in the Central Sahel according to a regional approach, with greater coordination among the stakeholders, coherence and complementarity between the humanitarian dimension, development and peace. An integrated and territorial approach focused both on the means of production and access to basic services is essential to strengthen community resilience”.
The Vice Minister then highlighted how Italy’s support to the OCHA has increased over the last two years. “We would like to work more and more closely with you, also to support a common narrative in the humanitarian field, and I renew my invitation to visit together, next year, the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot in Brindisi” – she concluded.