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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 4 October 2013

EU helps to boost food security and build resilience to drought in Ethiopia

The European Union (EU) has announced that it will provide €50 million to improve food security and build resilience to drought in southern and eastern Ethiopia. The project is part of the Supporting Horn of Africa Resilience (SHARE) initiative taken by EU Commissioners Andris Piebalgs and Kristalina Georgieva.

The new funds will help to boost food security in the lowland areas of Ethiopia through a series of long-term measures: for example, it will support a mechanism that provides cash and food to vulnerable people in case of a shock (eg during a drought) and will improve nutrition, for instance by promoting dietary diversification and the local production of vegetables, milk and forage.

The assistance will also strengthen animal health services and support livestock vaccination campaigns, as well as the management of natural resources such as water and grazing lands. The various activities will help families get more income and be better prepared to cope with any further droughts or shocks.

"The EU has already done all it can to address the immediate impact of drought in Ethiopia through its humanitarian assistance. Now, 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." said Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs.

Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, added: "The EU's SHARE initiative effectively links humanitarian assistance with longer-term development aid to better protect vulnerable populations in the Horn of Africa from recurrent drought and hunger. Through SHARE they will be better prepared to resist such shocks in the long run. SHARE is a prime example for how we can ensure better coherence of EU external assistance instruments and a maximum impact of our aid for the benefit of the targeted populations".

The Horn of Africa is plagued by recurrent droughts, which often translate into emergencies, with high levels of malnutrition and food insecurity. Increasing demographic pressures on natural resources, along with poor infrastructure, an absence of alternative livelihoods, and insecurity, make people particularly vulnerable to droughts in this region.

The SHARE initiative provides additional support to the most affected regions of the Horn of Africa, improves disaster preparedness and helps to better link humanitarian aid and development cooperation.

Background

The Accelerating Resilience Capacity in Southern and Eastern Ethiopia (ARCE) project (part of the SHARE regional programme) will be implemented by UNICEF, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Bank, along with NGOs.

The project invests in the ability of people and communities to withstand droughts. It fits in the EU approach on building resilience through a combination of humanitarian and development assistance. The project focuses on southern and eastern Ethiopia - those parts of the country that are regularly affected by drought conditions. The assistance is multi-facetted; covering food and nutrition security, diversification of livelihoods, and natural resource management.

The development cooperation programme with Ethiopia is one of the largest the EU runs in the world. Disbursements in the past years amounted to an average of about €160 million per year. The long-term cooperation programme centres around three areas; rural development and food security, transport and regional integration and service delivery and governance.

For more information

IP/12/1052: EU puts resilience at the heart of its work on fighting hunger and poverty

MEMO/12/589: Joint Statement by Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva and Commissioner Andris Piebalgs on the Horn of Africa, a year after the declaration of famine

Website of the Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid:

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

Website of the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs:

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

Website of the European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection:

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

Website of the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva:

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

Website of the delegation to Ethiopia:

http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/ethiopia/index_en.htm

Contacts :

Alexandre Polack (+32 2 299 06 77)

Maria Sanchez Aponte (+32 2 298 10 35)

Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)

David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)


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