The European Commission’s Humanitarian aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO)
October 23, 2014
EU increases humanitarian funding for refugees
The European Commission is providing an additional €5 million to respond to the needs of the growing number of refugees in Ethiopia. The country has become the largest refugee-hosting nation in Africa: it is sheltering more than 643 000 refugees. Most of them are fleeing the conflict in South Sudan and are facing malnutrition and the risk of epidemics.
“The catastrophe happening in South Sudan has a huge impact throughout the region,” said Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. “Since the crisis erupted last December, Ethiopia has given refuge to more than 190 000 South Sudanese people. With this funding, we will help meet the basic needs of refugees, including shelter, food, water, hygiene and health.”
The new funding brings the Commission’s humanitarian aid in Ethiopia to €31 million for this year. The aid will be channelled through humanitarian partners, including United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations.
The Commission has previously supported other neighboring countries of South Sudan with €15 million to cope with the inflow of refugees from the ongoing conflict.
Ethiopia is prone to recurrent droughts and floods, which have increased in frequency and intensity in recent years. The high influx of refugees is further adding to the vulnerabilities in the country. The European Commission provided over €130 million of humanitarian funding in the period 2011-2013 to assist around 3 million of the most vulnerable people, including those affected by drought and refugees.
To help strengthen the resilience of the population to recurrent shocks, the European Union is also supporting the regional initiative entitled Supporting the Horn of Africa’s Resilience (SHARE) with an initial allocation of €50 million for Ethiopia. The initiative is helping build a more holistic approach that better links humanitarian and development efforts in strengthening the capacities of the most vulnerable communities to cope with recurrent shocks.
To respond to the unprecedented humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, the European Commission has so far provided humanitarian assistance worth over €111 million this year. It supports life-saving assistance for internally displaced people, refugees, returnees and other most vulnerable populations providing them with food assistance and nutrition, basic healthcare, access to clean water, sanitation, shelter and protection. European Union humanitarian funding – EU Member States and the Commission – for the crisis in South Sudan stands at over €360 million in 2014 so far.