21/12/2012 - The European Commission is allocating €15 million from the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) to help the most vulnerable people affected by persistent drought in the Southern African countries of Angola, Lesotho, Malawi and Zimbabwe. The new funding brings the Commission's humanitarian aid in the region to €33 million for this year.
"We need to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to prevent a critical situation from getting even worse. But we also need to ensure that the people at risk can recover and build up their resilience so that they could cope with future natural disasters," said Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
Five million people in need, especially children suffering from malnutrition and related diseases, will benefit from this decision by getting food assistance, emergency nutrition and recovery aid.
Southern African countries are among the poorest in the world, according to the Human Development Report 2011. Vulnerability is further compounded by negative socio-economic factors such as the highest rates of HIV/AIDS.
The European Commission has been supporting life-saving activities in Southern Africa since 1994. A team of humanitarian experts of the Commission is on the ground monitoring the situation, assessing needs and overseeing the use of EU funds. The European Commission is working with humanitarian organisations that are best placed to deliver assistance in the countries concerned, such as the World Food Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, UNICEF and World Vision.