The Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) approved in July eight financial top-ups to ongoing programmes which the Fund finances in the Horn of Africa. Together they will: support the transitional process towards democracy in Sudan; mitigate the impact of the unfolding famine in South Sudan; and address the critical needs of forcibly displaced communities and migrants in the region. The bulk of the funding comes from the recent de-commitment of funds allocated to Eritrea that the EUTF operational committee (OPCOM) approved in May 2021.
Supporting the transition in Sudan
A peaceful revolution in Sudan in December 2018 saw Omar al-Bashir overthrown after 30 years of dictatorship. Now the EU remains committed to supporting the country’s transition, and to helping it deal with the consequences of its current economic crisis, which COVID-19 measures have exacerbated. The Fund has approved increases in spending amounting to €75 million for four programmes:
Fighting food insecurity in South Sudan
More than 60 percent of the South Sudanese population are predicted to face severe acute food insecurity in 2021. Six counties have been classified as famine-likely. So the Fund has approved a top-up of €20 million to the action ‘Feeder roads to strengthen the livelihoods and resilience of rural communities’. It will reinforce activities in highly food-insecure areas of Bahr El Ghazal, and expand them to the Greater Upper Nile region. It will notably provide food assistance where food is scarce and support smallholder farmers to access market and generate an income.
Supporting displaced people and refugees in the Horn of Africa
Djibouti: a further €3.5 million will extend by 18 months ‘Solutions pérennes pour les populations hôtes, les réfugiés et les migrants les plus vulnérables’, a successful programme launched in 2017 to support refugees, forcibly displaced people and migrants. Djibouti currently hosts more than 33 000 refugees and it is a transit point in migration routes in the region.
Uganda: a further €3 million has been approved to the ‘Support Programme to the Refugee Settlements and Host Communities in Northern Uganda’ (SPRS-NU), enabling many more women and young people, in particular girls, to acquire vital skills to help them find jobs and earn a living.
Regional: a further €5.95 million for the Facility on Return and Reintegration will enable the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to gather more and better data on migration, build the capacity of partner countries to develop and implement orderly, safe and dignified return and reintegration procedures, as well as to provide stranded migrants with assisted voluntary return and reintegration assistance.
In 2015, African and European partners established the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) to address the root causes of instability, forced displacement and irregular migration and to contribute to better migration management across Africa. EU institutions, EU Member States and other donors (Norway, Switzerland and United Kingdom) have so far allocated about €5 billion to the Fund via 251 programmes: €2.2 billion for the Sahel and Lake Chad, €1.8 billion for the Horn of Africa, and €0.9 billion for North Africa.