Biotech Updates

European Professional Football Sounds the Hunger Alarm on the Sahel

April 4, 2012

The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Sector (ECHO) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) supported the Association of European Professional Leagues (EPFL) third and biggest-ever Match Day Against Hunger last March 30. The event kicks off with a message to hundreds of European football stadium fans that there is an urgent need to make big actions to help millions of people in the Sahel region of Africa. It is planned that by the time the last match is played on 2 April, the campaign's message and activities will have swept across the continent involving 300 professional football clubs in 20 leagues throughout 16 European countries, reaching millions of football fans.

Around 16 million people in the Sahel region of Africa are experiencing food and nutrition crisis due to drought, chronic poverty, high food process, displacement and conflict. ECHO and FAO gets life-saving and livelihood-saving cash, food, agricultural inputs and training to the people who need them most. In addition, the team plans to conduct longer-term interventions to protect and restore the livelihoods of farmers, agropastoralists and pastoralists, addressing the root causes of the recurring food crises in the Sahel.

"We must act now to help people help themselves," said José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of FAO. "At the same time, we need to build resilience in local communities to stop jumping from crisis to crisis, and to prevent droughts from leading inevitably to famine."

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