Commissioner Georgieva is in Nairobi, Kenya, where she joins other high-level development partners for a meeting on ‘Resilience and growth in the Horn of Africa – enhanced partnership for change’. The meeting aims to boost coordination among humanitarian and development partners working to end drought crises in the region.
The European Commission has already declared its commitment to linking relief with rehabilitation and development in 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 join forces with the development community and combine the short-term humanitarian response with long-term support for resilience to future droughts,’ Commissioner Georgieva explained.
The Commission has already pledged €250 million to support recovery from the recent drought and strengthen resistance to future crises. The initiative, called ‘Supporting Horn of Africa Resilience’ (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 clean water and sanitation facilities. Projects will also provide support for the rearing of livestock, 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.
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.