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European Commission - Press release

Commissioner Georgieva in New York: Humanitarian aid to Horn of Africa a key United Nations concern

Brussels, 23 September 2011 –The European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva, will tomorrow address an important Ministerial summit on the Horn of Africa in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.

Ahead of the event the Commissioner said: "The drought in the Horn of Africa is one of the most tragic humanitarian crises for decades. Despite the efforts of the international community millions of people are still suffering. We must continue to highlight the acute needs of people across the entire area.

Our intention is to constantly improve the ways in which we perform our humanitarian work. We have a moral obligation to help the vulnerable victims of this and other crises. Europe is and will remain in the forefront of delivering vital assistance".

Speaking on behalf of the European Commission, Commissioner Georgieva will share a platform with Mr Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the UN, Baroness Amos, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, and representatives of the Governments of the affected countries – Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. She will reiterate the Commission's concern about the drought and Somalian famine as well as the wider food crisis, to which the EU as a whole has already responded by providing €700 million, with €160 million from the Commission alone. The Commissioner will underline the need to join forces to invest in disaster risk reduction measures and to rebuild sustainability and resilience.

The Commissioner will hold face-to-face talks with Development and Foreign Affairs Ministers participating to the Summit. Besides the Horn of Africa, their discussions will focus on a range of crisis areas, including Sudan and Libya.


Horn of Africa factsheet

ECHO/UN OCHA Collaboration

The European Commission enjoys a strong and long-standing partnership with OCHA, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Under the leadership of Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos, OCHA ensures a coherent international response to humanitarian crises. Since 2006, the European Commission has allocated over € 60 million to OCHA both for the coordination of humanitarian assistance at field-level and through the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection's (ECHO) capacity-building programme.

OCHA's mission is to:

  • Mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international agencies in order to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies.

  • Advocate the rights of people in need.

  • Promote preparedness and prevention.

  • Facilitate sustainable solutions

For more information

Commissioner Georgieva's website:

The European Commission's humanitarian aid:

Contacts :

David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)

Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)

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