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Disaster resilience in the Horn of Africa to be strengthened with new aid injection from the European Commission

A man feeding his son in Northern Ethiopia © WFP/Rein Skullerud
31/07/2012  - 

The European Commission is delivering on its promise to help the Horn of Africa recover from the destructive drought, overcome its chronic problems and set out on the path of development. Today the Commission is adding €22 million to its humanitarian aid in the region. The new money will help build the resilience to future droughts of at least one million Kenyans and Somalis.

The new aid brings to €313 million the European Commission's humanitarian aid contribution to the Horn of Africa since the start of the hunger emergency. In July last year the crisis was so grave that the United Nations declared famine in parts of Somalia. Today, thanks to better rains and the dedicated work of humanitarian organisations, the famine has abated. Yet hunger, displacement and insecurity persist.

"Millions of people in the region are still depending on humanitarian aid to survive, but after a good rainy season that promises a reasonable harvest, the challenge is shifting from saving lives in an emergency to preventing emergencies in the future," said Kristalina Georgieva, the European Union's Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. "We can't prevent drought but we can prevent a repeat of the food crisis it caused here last year. Our new aid contributes to this goal," the Commissioner underlined.

To promote long-term solutions to the Horn of Africa's chronic problems (drought risks, insecurity, weak communal ability to withstand shocks, precarious livelihoods) the new funding will provide water, food, sanitation, health services and livelihood support to local communities and those displaced by conflict and hunger.

The funds will be channeled through the EU's SHARE strategy (Supporting Horn of Africa Resilience). With it, the Commission pools its humanitarian assets (saving lives in the crisis) and its long-term development capabilities, and directs them at removing the root causes of food crises with the goal to prevent their reoccurrence.