Brussels, 16 July 2010
Commission allocates € 5million for short-term food assistance in four countries of south-east Africa
Today the European Commission has decided to allocate € 5 million to support the protection of livelihoods of vulnerable populations in the disaster-prone regions of south-east African and south-west Indian Ocean. This aid will promote disaster preparedness by providing short-term food security, short-term livelihood support, and other support activities in Comoros, Madagascar, Malawi and Mozambique.
The Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva said: “Despite the success of our preparedness programmes in disaster-prone areas, the experience shows that natural hazards put at risk not only lives but also livelihoods. For this reason, we are taking our programmes a step further by setting up complementary tools aimed at fostering the population’s food security.”
South-east Africa and south-west Indian Ocean are two of the most natural disaster-prone regions in the world. In addition to permanent threats from earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, the region has in recent years experienced a dramatic increase in the frequency of floods and cyclones. This high recurrence of natural disasters has seriously reduced the possibility of sustainable recovery.
The principal objective of this new Decision is to link disaster risk reduction to food security actions, with short-term livelihood support and short-term food-security, in order to decrease the vulnerability of communities exposed to the risk of natural catastrophes. Assistance will be provided through multiple interventions such as seeds, tools and livestock support and capacity building activities at household and community level. The funding will also be used to provide coordination and technical support to partner operations, and to finance awareness-raising and advocacy campaigns.
In March 2010 the Commission adopted a € 6 million Decision to launch its second DIPECHO (Disaster Preparedness ECHO) Action plan in the south-east African and south-west Indian Ocean region, which aims to increase resilience and decrease the vulnerability of local communities to enable them to better prepare for, mitigate and respond adequately to natural disasters.
On 31st March, 2010, the Commission adopted a Communication on Humanitarian Food Assistance (See IP/10/404). This lays out a new policy framework for EU humanitarian action to strengthen efforts to tackle food-insecurity in humanitarian crises. In recent years, hunger and malnutrition have increased in the world; in 2010, over 1 billion people are considered to be food insecure. Of these, approximately 100 million are living in crisis contexts, and face extreme and acute food-insecurity and malnutrition that poses an immediate threat to life. The Communication states that EU Humanitarian Food Assistance will aim to save and preserve life, to protect livelihoods, and to increase resilience for populations facing on-going or forecasted humanitarian food crises, or recovering from them.
For further information: http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm