26/04/2013 - Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva is in Addis Ababa where members of the European Commission are meeting the African Union Commission for their 6th joint session. The meeting will address common priorities such as security and the pursuit of sustainable and inclusive growth. High on the agenda are also the challenges which Africa is tackling with the support of the European Union: climate change, food security, resilience to disasters, education, migration.
During the meeting, Commissioner Georgieva will reiterate the need to build up the resilience and improve the food security of the millions of Africans who face more frequent and painful disasters. The European Commission has already made this an important priority with the resilience-boosting initiatives SHARE (in the Horn of Africa) and AGIR (in the Sahel).
To see how SHARE is working in practice, the Commissioner visited Dire Dawa, an Ethiopian region (home to more than half a million people) that is recurrently affected by severe droughts. Due to climate change, the frequency of droughts has grown from once every 6-8 years to once every 2-3 years. The local population is struggling to cope as water, crops and pastures for livestock are harder to access. The Commission has identified the region as a focus for resilience-building initiatives, such as nutrition, water and sanitation, health assistance, food security and disaster risk reduction measures.