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Monday, 04 April 2016

EU: Supporting the Ethiopian people now, and over the long term

Ethiopia is being hit hard by one the most severe El Niño phenomenon on record. Numbers speak for themselves – in the past year, the number of food insecure people has increased from 2.9 million to over 10 million at present, write Neven Mimica and Christos Stylianides.This is on top of the almost 8 million chronically food insecure people in the country (...) Since the winter of 2015, the EU has mobilised around €44 million of humanitarian aid to help the victims of El Niño in Ethiopia. In addition, we have just announced an additional €24 million to respond to emergency needs of over 730 000 refugees and some 400 000 Internally Displaced People (...) Ethiopia is the largest beneficiary of EU development assistance, with a country programme of €745 million for the period 2014-2020 (through the European Development Fund.) A third of this amount is foreseen to support food security, sustainable agriculture and to fight climate change (...) Another EU initiative is called RESET (Resilience building in Ethiopia). It covers 41 districts across 5 regions, and reaches more than 2.8 million people. It supports extremely poor households with the objective of strengthening resilience of most vulnerable communities to man-made and natural disasters. It includes measures increasing access to basic services and enhancing livelihoods and employment opportunities. It improves water management and catchment by developing irrigation schemes which are accessible to the poor to ensure the use of modern technology and better-quality varieties of crops. It also includes support for family planning.