Fighting famine: Alexander De Croo grants 10.5 million EUR for projects of Belgian humanitarian NGOs
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo has released a budget of 10.5 million EUR for six humanitarian projects of Belgian NGOs in Yemen, Uganda, South Sudan and Nigeria. The aid is part of the promise of Minister De Croo to double donations to the Famine 12-12 campaign.
In recent months, Famine 12-12 has raised funds to intensify the fight against famine in South Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria and Somalia. The fundraising was an initiative of Consortium 12-12, the Belgian consortium for emergencies. After a call for proposals, Alexander De Croo now approves, on the advice of the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, an amount of 10.5 million EUR for humanitarian projects. The funds are dedicated to the humanitarian work of Oxfam, Caritas, Red Cross Flanders / Belgian Red Cross in Yemen, Uganda, South Sudan and Nigeria. With this aid, humanitarian NGOs will be able to provide food, clean water and sanitation facilities in Uganda, South Sudan, Yemen and Nigeria.
"During my field visit to South Sudan and Uganda, I witnessed with my own eyes the considerable work that Belgian humanitarian organizations have done, often under extreme conditions. The Belgian government intends to support them in their action. Farmers are beginning to plant their fields. If we support them now, in a few months they will be able to harvest enough to feed their families and sell some of their products to the local market. We are making people more resilient and less dependent from international donors," stated Alexander De Croo.
Millions of people affected
The famine in South Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen and Somalia is the biggest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. A few weeks ago, Minister De Croo made a humanitarian visit to South Sudan. The UN estimates that 1.7 million people live on the brink of famine and six million face food uncertainty. The country is also affected by a serious outbreak of cholera, with more than 17,000 cholera cases reported last year. The minister also traveled to northern Uganda where more than one million South Sudanese are received and new forms of reception are experienced, including providing refugees with a plot of land to work on.
The total humanitarian aid granted by Belgium directly to the four affected countries reaches 35 million EUR this year. In addition to the 10.5 million EUR granted to Belgian NGOs, Minister De Croo provided 24.5 million EUR this year for international humanitarian organizations active in the four countries. The actual amount of humanitarian aid devoted to famine is even higher because Belgium also contributes to the general resources and funds of international humanitarian organizations, such as the UN emergency fund or the International Red Cross. Some of this aid is also allocated to areas affected by famine. This year, Belgium foresees a total of 170 million EUR for humanitarian aid.