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Published on October 19th, 2012 | by EJC


Seminar “Building Resilience In The Sahel”

The region of Sahel in Sub-Saharan Africa is suffering from serious crises.

“The Sahel is at a critical juncture. Political turmoil, extreme climatic conditions and fragile economies are combining to create a perfect storm of vulnerability.” – Ban Ki-moon

As climate change intensifies the level of desertification and drought, currently 18.7 million people in nine countries are at risk of food security, malnutrition, and hunger. In addition to that, more than 425,000 people have been forced to leave their homes and move into areas experiencing food scarcity due to the conflict in northern Mali. A total of 19 million people is said to be either affected or at risk due to the Sahel Crisis.

Recent and recurrent food crises in the Sahel region have underscored the need for the EU to work on a long-term and systematic approach to building the resilience of vulnerable countries and populations. As unexpected natural catastrophes, food crises, or economic shocks can seriously undermine the results of the EU’s development and humanitarian work in developing countries, it is essential to focus the EU’s actions toward tackling the root causes of recurrent crises rather than just dealing with their consequences.


According to UN OCHA, while 1,651 million US dollars are required to bring the Sahel Crisis to an end, just 980 million US dollars have been committed by the donor countries at this moment. The large number of the donation come from two economic powers, namely the United States of America (448 million US) and the European Commission (247 million US).

The European Journalism Centre in cooperation with the DG for Development and Cooperation (EuropeAid) of the European Commission is organising a seminar entitled “Building Resilience in the Sahel” from 12-13 November 2012 in Brussels for 15 EU journalists. The seminar will outline policies and measures with which the EU is helping vulnerable communities around the world to build resilience against future crises and disasters. This two-day event will feature on and off the record talks and panel discussions with experts from the European Commission and international NGOs. Participating journalists will have the opportunity to attend exclusive meetings with the EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, and the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, International Cooperation and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva.


This event will be followed by a press trip to the Sahel region (Niger) that will take place in late November/early December 2012.

Interested journalists can apply online. For further information, contact Biba Klomp ([email protected]).

Photo: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam

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