European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica is today opening a High Level Event in Brussels on "Innovative Ways for Sustainable Nutrition, Food Security and Inclusive Agricultural Growth", where he will propose €414 million of new money to support those countries most affected by the current food security crisis caused by El Niño and other factors. This funding comes on top of the €125 million already mobilised in December 2015, bringing the EU's total contribution to €539 million.
European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides stated: "El Niño is having devastating consequences around the globe with 41 million people struggling to meet their food needs. The humanitarian situation in Africa is particularly worrying. The EU is taking action and this new support will allow us to step up our efforts and continue our support for the most vulnerable."
Commissioner Mimica said: "This proposed new funding aims at combining short-term lifesaving support with strengthening long-term resilience to food crises by addressing the root causes of fragility and vulnerability. We can build on the past successes gained under our existing resilience initiatives to step up our efforts and provide a global response to this food security crisis which is currently affecting so many across the world".
The mobilisation of this package requires further Commission proposals and approval by EU Member States.
This High level Event is also an opportunity to share the encouraging findings of the first "Nutrition Action Plan Progress" report, which shows progress towards the attainment of the EU objective of reducing the number of stunted children by 7 million by 2025.
41 million people - out of the 80 million suffering from food crisis this year – living in El Niño-affected regions (Latin America and Caribbean, Southern, Central and Eastern Africa, as well as few Asian and Pacific countries) are suffering from a severe food crisis.
The impact and vulnerabilities of droughts have been felt especially hard in Ethiopia, where the number of food insecure people has increased sharply from 2.9 to more than 10 million over the last year. On 8 April 2016, the European Commission therefore announced its intention to mobilise €122.5 million for Ethiopia to address the immediate needs of people affected by the worsening humanitarian situation caused also by El Niño. The situation is very serious in Southern Africa as well, where several countries have declared a state of emergency due to food insecurity caused by El Niño induced drought.
MEMO/16/1514: El Niño - EU announces additional funds in new approach to address global food crises
JRC report on "Global analysis of food and nutrition security situation in food crisis hotspots":