The severe drought in the Horn of Africa has resulted in one of the most dramatic global humanitarian crises in this century, further intensified by conflict and violence, high food prices and dwindling resources in the region. More than 13 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The crisis is expected to worsen over the coming three to four months and recovery is not expected until next year. This is why the rapid scaling-up of the emergency response is vital to address the humanitarian needs and to prevent further deterioration.
The European Union is among the world's leading donors, having provided to date more than €675 million to the Horn of Africa. This represents nearly one third of the total global assistance for the region in 2011. In 2011 the European Commission alone has so far allocated more than €157 million. The priority sectors are food assistance, nutrition, water and sanitation.