The European Commission is to immediately send €5 million in aid to the world's largest refugee centre Dadaab, increasing this year's contribution to alleviating the drought crisis in the Horn of Africa to nearly €70 million.
The Commission is providing €5.67 million to tackle the upsurge of refugees arriving at the Dadaab camps in Kenya. At least 61 000 Somalis have sought refuge there since the beginning of this year, fleeing hunger, thirst and conflict. Dadaab's refugee population now stands at more than 370 000 in three camps - Ifo, Hagadera and Dagahaley.
More European Commission aid to the stricken region will be announced in the coming days.
"Severe drought is making tough living conditions unbearable, adding new pains to those caused by conflicts and erratic weather," said Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva.
"Dadaab is just the starkest reminder that the spectre of hunger has returned to Africa. We are acting today to respond to one of the most urgent problems, but we are preparing to commit more resources to the relief operation. What we are witnessing in the Horn of Africa is now considered to be the worst food crisis in the world today."
There are more than 10 million people in need of emergency aid in drought-affected areas of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti. EU money is being spent on feeding the most vulnerable, treating malnourished children, protecting livestock and providing water.