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Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Greater Horn of Africa: Commission allocates € 20 million

The European Commission adopted a € 20 million humanitarian financial package to support 12 million people affected by drought in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda. This funding will help efforts to develop the populations' resilience to drought and adapt to climate change. Commissioner Georgieva stated: “Drought is by far the main cause of natural disasters in the Greater Horn of Africa. Worryingly, the effect of climate change is felt more dramatically in this region. We need to accelerate our programmes which have an impact on the ground as they help communities to be better prepared and able to cope with reduced rains patterns.” A large number of the pastoralist populations in the arid lands chronically rely on outside assistance, and lack access to basic services. This results in high rates of malnutrition, child morbidity and mortality, as well as increasing numbers of pastoralist drop-outs, and poses significant humanitarian risks during periods of reduced rainfall. It is estimated that over 12 million pastoralists and agro-pastoralists are affected by recurrent droughts.This new decision will be used to fund preparedness programmes, promote drought resilience and protect lives and livelihoods. The allocation will also finance food security improvement, livelihood support, as well as the provision of water and sanitation. The funds are channelled through the Commission's department for humanitarian aid and civil protection (ECHO).

Background

The Greater Horn of Africa has been severely affected by recurrent and persistent manmade and natural hazards, leaving populations highly vulnerable to drought, human and livestock disease outbreaks, and to a lesser extent floods. Accounting for 95% of the death toll caused by natural disasters in Africa, droughts pose a very serious threat to the people of this region. Protracted conflicts, major structural problems and a lack of basic services mean that inhabitants are poorly equipped to cope with natural disasters. Malnutrition and child morbidity and mortality are among the greatest humanitarian concerns in this region. Since 2008, the Commission hassupported drought preparedness interventions in the region worth € 60 million..

Source: European Commission