EU funds for Horn of Africa countries

21 Jan 16

The European Commission has announced €77m in funding for the Horn of Africa, with aid reaching Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia.

 

The commission said that the region faces a multitude of crises from recurrent cycles of conflict to food insecurity and natural disasters, affecting millions of people. The Horn of Africa currently hosts some 1.7 million refugees, mostly from South Sudan and Somalia, more than half a million of whom live in Kenya.

Speaking after a visit to the country’s largest refugee camp, Christos Stylianides, EU commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, said he had witnessed firsthand the immense needs of families whose lives have been forever changed and who now rely on humanitarian aid.

“No country can cope alone with the provision of essential services to so many,” he said.

“We need to strengthen the resilience of both forcibly displaced persons and host communities.”

Of the €77m, €17m will go towards life-saving and emergency aid for the most vulnerable in Kenya, including food, healthcare, protection and education.

Somalia however will be the main aid recipient, receiving €29m. The funding comes as nearly five million people are in need and over one million remain displaced inside the country.

Somalia has endured years of consecutive crises, including famine, poor harvest, droughts and other natural disasters as well as ongoing conflict.

Like Ethiopia – which will also receive €25m of the EU support – Somalia is also being affected by the weather pattern El Niño, which entails natural warming in the Pacific causing floods, droughts and other extreme weather across the globe.

While in the south of Somalia 145,000 people faced floods and hundreds of cases of acute water-borne diseases were reported, in the north drought pushed more than 300,000 into food insecurity.

In Ethiopia, an estimated 18 million people were in need of assistance at the end of last year after poor harvests were exacerbated by El Niño-induced drought.

The latest round of funding follows €79m in EU funding for the greater Horn of Africa region, including Kenya and Somalia, announced last month to deal specifically with the consequences of El Niño. 

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