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New initiative seals Commission's determination to stand by most vulnerable in Horn of Africa

The projects will also provide support for livestock rearing, an essential livelihood for the majority of the population in some of the drought-prone areas (c) EU
16/03/2012  - 

16/03 - The European Commission will invest €250 million in supporting recovery from the recent drought in the Horn of Africa and strengthening the population's resistance to future crises.

The initiative, called ‘Supporting Horn of Africa Resilience’ (SHARE) will be presented today by Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva and her colleague Andris Piebalgs, the Commissioner for Development. The launch will take place in Copenhagen, at the invitation of the Danish Presidency of the European Council.

SHARE aims to break the vicious cycle of humanitarian crises in east Africa and ensure that people can cope better with future droughts. The assistance package will help the victims of the recent crisis to return to their homes and jobs, and improve public services, such as access to clean water and sanitation facilities. Projects will also provide support for livestock rearing, an essential source of livelihood for the majority of the population in some drought-prone areas. Other priorities are disaster preparedness and building stronger bridges between humanitarian and development projects. SHARE will run until 2020 –proof of the Commission's long-term commitment to the Horn of Africa.

‘Europe has done its best to alleviate the suffering caused by hunger to millions of people in the region, but humanitarian assistance is like a dressing on a deep wound – it can offer relief, but it cannot cure the disease. To prevent future famines we need to combine the short-term humanitarian response with long-term support for resilience to future droughts. This is what we intend to do with SHARE,’ Commissioner Georgieva explained.

The EU is the world’s largest humanitarian donor to the Horn of Africa. In 2011 the European Commission alone spent €181 million on nutrition, water, sanitation and other humanitarian needs in the hunger-hit parts of the region. This year the Commission has allocated €102 million for the Horn of Africa's humanitarian needs.