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European Commission - Press release

Kenya: New EU support to strengthen food security among vulnerable mothers and children

Brussels, 02 May 2012 - During his visit to Kenya, EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, announced new support to address food security in Kenya, which is often affected by recurrent drought. Up to €40 million will be dedicated to nutrition, water supply and livelihood support. Mothers and children will be in particular focus of this initiative, as they are the first victims of drought and hunger. The funding comes as a part of the new €250 million EU initiative, called "Supporting Horn of Africa Resilience (SHARE)", to support the people in the Horn of Africa to recover from the recent drought and to strengthen the population and regional economy to better withstand future crises.

Commissioner Piebalgs said: "During the recent crisis hunger has threatened more than 13 million people in the Horn of Africa. The EU has done all it could to help the suffering people, but now we have to cure the disease, not only fight the symptoms. This new initiative will help Kenyans and people in the Horn to recover from the food crisis by swiftly linking short-term humanitarian response with long -term support for resilience to future droughts. These may continue to happen, but famine is a man-made disaster and can be prevented. The EU will strengthen its work in the areas of agriculture and food security, by making sure all parts of the chain, from production to sale, are addressed at regional level."


The SHARE initiative

The Horn of Africa is plagued by recurrent droughts and emergencies, as well as by constantly high levels of malnutrition and food insecurity. Droughts, combined with demographic pressure, poor infrastructure, high food prices, as well as conflict and insecurity, are some of the many reasons why this is a particularly fragile region. The SHARE initiative will:

  • provide additional support to the most affected regions of the Horn of Africa

  • improve disaster preparedness

  • better link humanitarian aid and development cooperation

The first phase (2012-2013), funded with more than €250 million, foresees measures in the drought-affected areas of Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti. It will improve the resilience of communities and give better access to safe water and nutrition.

Running between 2014 and 2020, the second phase will cover the larger region of the Greater Horn of Africa and help it to be better prepared for natural disasters in the long term. The funding will focus, among other things, on supporting pastoralism as the most efficient and drought-prone way of using land and water, thus sustaining natural resource management. Programmes will further facilitate trade at national and regional levels and reduce disaster risk.

Ongoing EU work in the Horn of Africa

Humanitarian aid and crisis response

The EU is the world’s largest humanitarian donor to the Horn of Africa. In 2011, the EU reacted urgently and substantially to the humanitarian crisis in this region and provided around €730 million in humanitarian aid, which corresponded to one third of all international assistance.

The European Commission alone spent €181 million in humanitarian aid to the Horn of Africa communities affected by food insecurity and famine in 2011. Food assistance, nutrition, water and sanitation were the areas of priority. In 2012 the Commission has allocated €102 million for the Horn of Africa's humanitarian needs.

Since 2006, the Commission's humanitarian aid budget has not only provided emergency assistance in the Horn of Africa, but has also supported the build-up of local resilience through pilot projects for drought risk reduction and through the set-up of structures for early emergency response (mobile clinics, distribution of food vouchers and water).

For more information

IP/12/440Commissioner Piebalgs in Kenya to boost EU response to food insecurity in the region

MEMO/12/294 - EU development cooperation with Kenya

Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG

Website of the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs:

Contacts :

Catherine Ray (+32 2 296 99 21)

Wojtek Talko (+32 2 297 85 51)

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