A top U.N. humanitarian official says more than 11 million people are facing hunger in Africa's Sahel region, and he is appealing for more international aid.

Robert Piper says the nine-country region is struggling to recover from a drought last year, despite better projections for rain and harvest this year. The U.N. Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel says crises like droughts are occurring more frequently in the region, making it more difficult for farmer and villagers to recover.

Piper told a news conference Tuesday that the U.N. has asked for $1.7 billion in aid for the Sahel this year, but only 36 percent has been received.

He says aid came quickly last year in response to the drought but that the challenge is to keep it coming this year.