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Thursday, 05 December 2013

Europe tries new recipe to combat hunger in Ethiopia

Learning from past crises, the European Commission has changed tack on its approach to food security in the Horn of Africa, focusing on resilience to droughts and supporting diversification in local farming production, EurActiv reports. The list of hunger catastrophes in the history of the Horn of Africa is long. The latest one, only two years ago, was triggered by an extreme drought. Such extreme weather events are only expected to become more frequent with climate change, making preparedness more crucial than ever.
Anticipating those changes, the EU is trying to help affected countries deal with emergency situations. Last October, the European Commission sent an additional €50 million in aid to the southern and eastern regions of Ethiopia as part of its Supporting Horn of Africa Resilience (SHARE) programme.
The plan, presented jointly by EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Kristalina Georgieva, was intended to strengthen the region’s resilience against a range of potential external shocks.
In the event of a hunger catastrophe for instance, the neediest in the population should receive financial aid and food more quickly. And in the longer term, food security can be improved by promoting dietary diversification and supporting local production of vegetables, milk and animal feed.
"With this new programme, we will be helping Ethiopian people in the longer-term; providing support to help them rebuild their lives, make a living, and make sure they are well equipped to deal with droughts that will inevitably come again in the future," explained Andris Piebalgs.
The resilience projects at the Horn of Africa are only part of the latest reorientation of European development aid. The underlying goal is to keep negative consequences of natural disasters to a minimum, a change of course made inevitable by global warming, EurActiv informs.

Source: EurActiv.de