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Friday, 16 July 2010

Commission allocates € 15 million to prevent hunger in Ethiopia

Today, the European Commission has adopted a € 15 million aid package to address a critical food security situation in Ethiopia where an estimated 5.2 million people will be requiring food assistance this year. The main bulk of the Commission’s funding will go towards providing appropriate and adequate food assistance to the disaster affected population, including food aid, nutrition and short-term food security. Support will also be given to the agricultural and livestock sectors, to safeguard livelihoods and improve food security. The new funding decision will also provide a response to compounding needs in the health and water and sanitation sectors, to avoid health risks such as the recurrent outbreaks of cholera and meningitis epidemics. The Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva, stated: “The majority of the population in Ethiopia still live far below the poverty line, and is extremely vulnerable to severe changes in weather patterns, droughts, epidemics and protracted internal conflicts. With our multiple interventions we aim not only to provide for a speedy recovery but also to help to communities strengthen their own coping mechanisms.” In addition to emergency food aid like the one adopted today, disaster risk reduction programmes are a crucial part of the Commission's overall aid strategy, emphasizing longer term solutions in the form of climate change adaptation and strengthening communities' own coping mechanisms. In June, the Commission allocated € 20 million to support 6 drought-prone countries in the Horn of Africa, including Ethiopia.

Source: European Commission