Food security in the Horn of Africa: EU steps up support for countries affected by drought – The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology

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This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


A devastating climate-induced drought is affecting the Horn of Africa. The situation is aggravated by the impact of COVID-19, the conflict and insecurity situation in the region, as well as the expected worsening of food and nutrition insecurity due to the invasion of Ukraine by the Russia. The European Commission is therefore strengthening its political and financial commitment to partner countries in the region.

Today, total EU funding of €348 million for 2022 to boost food security in the Horn of Africa was announced at a high-level roundtable co-hosted by the Commission European Union and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva. Funding includes humanitarian assistance and longer-term support to address the root causes of food insecurity, including climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.

EU funding to support food security

  • Humanitarian aid: to respond to the huge emergency needs in the region, the EU today announced an additional €32 million, bringing the total contribution to €108.2 million for countries affected by the drought in the Horn of Africa.
  • To strengthen resilience and food security, the EU will make available €231 million over the period 2021-2022 out of the €317.5 million earmarked for the three countries in 2021-2024 from development funds. This support aims to strengthen the State’s capacity to respond to the crisis and prevent further deterioration.
  • In addition to these funds, the EU Foreign Policy Instrument (FPI) is making available €8.9 million for actions aimed at breaking the climate-conflict cycle in Somalia and sustainably managing conflicts in the dryland ecosystems in Kenya.

Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcicmentioned: “The humanitarian consequences of the historic drought affecting the Horn of Africa in countries such as Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia are dramatic. Millions of people are already affected by the drought and need life-saving assistance. In addition, dependence on Ukrainian and Russian imports is already having a negative impact on food availability and affordability in this region. It’s time to act. The international community, humanitarian and development partners, national authorities and communities must save as many lives as possible and work together in a sustained effort to address the emergency and build future resilience.

Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, added: “As the Horn of Africa region faces the worst climate-induced droughts in recent history, the impact of economic shocks related to COVID 19 and conflict and insecurity, food security of the region is at stake. With our partners and the international community, in a multilateral approach, we must finance structural policies that tackle the root causes of food and nutrition crises and make vulnerable people more resilient to shocks. The best way to work together is through the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. The new EU Global Gateway strategy will contribute to this work.”

Background

In the third consecutive year of failed rainy seasons, the prospect of another famine in Somalia looms, while food and nutrition insecurity continues to grow at a rapid pace in Ethiopia and in the arid and semi-arid lands of Kenya. The humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa continues to worsen as forecasts for the first rainy season of 2022 call for below-average rainfall overall, making this the longest drought and the severest in the past 40 years.

A robust multilateral response to global food security is needed more than ever to address structural vulnerabilities, building on the momentum of the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) and the Nutrition for Growth event in Tokyo. The EU is committed to working with partners in the region and other international actors to support national pathways towards sustainable food systems through structural policies and investments, taking into account humanitarian, development and peace.

The Global Gateway Africa – Europe Investment Package aims to mobilize up to €150 billion in investments between 2021 and 2027 for Africa to support a strong, inclusive, green and digital recovery and transformation. It will support the renewed partnership agreed at the EU-AU summit on 17 and 18 February in Brussels.

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