This additional assistance brings EU humanitarian aid to the Horn of Africa region (including Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti) to nearly €260m since the beginning of the year.
“The situation in Horn of Africa has drastically deteriorated in 2017 and it keeps getting worse. Millions of people are struggling to meet their and their families’ food needs. The risk of famine is real.
The European Union has been following the situation closely since the very beginning and progressively increasing aid to the affected populations. This new package will help our humanitarian partners scale up the response further and keep bringing lifesaving assistance to people in need,” said Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Commissioner Christos Stylianides.
The newly announced EU assistance will support humanitarian partners already responding to the needs of the affected populations to step up emergency food assistance and treatment of malnutrition. Projects addressing water supply, livestock protection and response to outbreaks will also be supported.
The bulk of the funding (€40m) will go to help the most vulnerable in Somalia, while €15m will go to Ethiopia and €5m to Kenya.
Millions of people in the Horn of Africa are affected by food insecurity and water shortages. Vegetation is sparse. Livestock deaths, high food prices and reduced incomes are being reported. As a result of the poorly performing rainy season, the next harvests will be greatly reduced and the situation is expected to worsen in the coming months.
The drought comes on the heels of erratic weather caused by the El Niño phenomenon in 2015-16. In Ethiopia, it prompted the biggest drought response operation in the country’s history.
The region also hosts 2.3 million refugees – the majority of whom are from Yemen, South Sudan, and Somalia – and is struggling to meet their increasing needs.
Since 2011, the EU has allocated over €1 billion in humanitarian aid to its partners in the Horn of Africa. EU funding has helped to provide food assistance, health and nutrition care, clean water, sanitation, and shelter to those whose lives are threatened by drought and conflict.
However, aid for the drought-affected populations is complicated by the remoteness of certain areas, as well as by the ongoing violence in Somalia. All parties to the conflict are therefore urged to provide unimpeded humanitarian access to people in need.