European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

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Horn of Africa


What are the needs?

The Horn of Africa continues to face a multitude of crises – from natural disasters, including the El Niño phenomenon, to conflict – with consequences for millions of people. Increasing food insecurity is causing forced internal displacement across the region. Millions need additional humanitarian assistance, especially in Somalia and Ethiopia.

In 2015-2016, the El Niño weather phenomenon has considerably affected the region. In Ethiopia, the underperformance of two consecutive rainy seasons has affected the country's agricultural harvest cycle. Consequently, over 10 million Ethiopians are food insecure. In Somalia, El Niño has triggered higher than usual rainfalls in the south and drought in the north. Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected.

The Horn of Africa is home to some 1.7 million refugees, predominantly in Ethiopia and Kenya. A majority of the refugees are from Somalia and South Sudan. They are often women and children – including unaccompanied minors – who are particularly vulnerable. Most refugees are in need of immediate life-saving assistance and rely almost entirely on humanitarian aid. Around two million people have also been internally displaced in the region, with Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia being the most affected.

How are we helping?

The work of the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) focuses on four pillars: life-saving humanitarian response (food assistance, nutrition, health, water, sanitation and hygiene, shelter, protection and non-food items); enhancing emergency preparedness mechanisms to reinforce the capacity of those affected to quickly and appropriately react to changing situations, like the sudden onset of natural disasters; supporting recovery; and increasing the resilience of populations and refugees while addressing their protracted and acute needs.

The EU (European Commission and Member States) is one of the world's largest humanitarian donors to the Horn of Africa providing over €1 billion since 2011.

Last updated 18/04/2016