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Commissioner Georgieva announces new humanitarian funding for famine and drought victims

European Commission - IP/11/920   23/07/2011

Other available languages: FR DE BG

European Commission - Press release

Commissioner Georgieva announces new humanitarian funding for famine and drought victims

Brussels, 23 July 2011 - Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response will announce today new aid funding for famine and drought victims on the first day of a visit to Kenya.

The Commission is making an immediate allocation of 27.8 million euros, which comes on top of the 70 million euros already given to the region this year, in response to the worsening humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa.

Kristalina Georgieva will visit the Dadaab refugee camp where she will meet families driven from Somalia by decades of conflict and the worst drought in 60 years.

The drought and the massive displacement of people in the Horn of Africa, in addition to high food prices and dwindling resources, have created the world's largest humanitarian crisis Some 11 million vulnerable people are now affected.  

"This unprecedented crisis in the Horn of Africa calls for an unprecedented response," said the Commissioner, speaking ahead of the visit. "This is why, on top of today's announcement of new funding of €27.8 million, I have started the process to mobilise another €60 million to alleviate the suffering of so many people. This will bring our response to nearly €158 million."

She added: "Europeans have responded generously to this crisis but the situation is getting worse, especially in Somalia. In Dadaab more than 400,000 people are living in refugee camps intended for 90,000. Every day more than 3,000 Somalis are fleeing across their country's borders to seek food and security in Ethiopia and Kenya.

"So we must all do more to help not just those families who through no fault of their own have been forced to become refugees but also those victims who are still suffering today in Somalia."

This new aid package will provide food and nutrition to the most vulnerable households. Assistance will also be given to safeguard animal health and protect livestock in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti.

The Commissioner will meet with the Kenyan authorities and visit EU-funded projects in drought response and disaster risk reduction (DRR) projects.

Background

The Horn of Africa is suffering from protracted drought. Together with conflict, high food prices and dwindling resources, eleven million people are now affected by the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The Horn of Africa is facing a double emergency with the drought and the displacement of people: currently 800,000 people are refugees with half of them now concentrated at Dadaab. 1.5 million people have been internally displaced.

Before today's announcement the Commission had allocated nearly €70 million for the Horn of Africa this year. The new funding envisaged by the Commissioner will bring the total humanitarian assistance allocated by the European Commission to the region to €157.47 million. Currently, the total EU aid (Commission and Member States) stands at more than €207 million, and a number of Member States have made announcements of further funding.

For more information

MEMO/11/536

Commissioner Georgieva's website:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/georgieva/index_en.htm

The European Commission's humanitarian aid:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm

Contacts :

David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)

Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)


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