UNITED NATIONS, June 27 (Xinhua) -- A UN spokesman said on Monday the 3.8-billion-U.S.-dollar plan to aid 30 million people in the Sahel who need life-saving assistance is only 15 percent funded.
Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said the number of men, women and children needing aid is almost 2 million people more than just a year ago.
"Between June and August of this year, more than 18.6 million people -- that's 15 percent of all people in the Sahel -- are expected to experience severe food insecurity," Dujarric said. "That includes 2.1 million people experiencing emergency levels of food insecurity."
A record of more than 6.3 million people fled their homes in the face of armed conflict with increasing temperatures worsening the crisis, he said, adding that temperatures in the Sahel are rising 1.5 times faster than the global average. The number of floods and other extreme weather events nearly doubled between 2015 and 2021.
Last month, the spokesman recalled, Undersecretary-General Martin Griffiths, head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, released 30 million U.S. dollars from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to scale up the response in the Sahel to almost 100 million dollars this year.
"Frankly, these emergency funds are meant to be used to kickstart responses, not to replace donor donations," Dujarric said.