The European Union has released €89.5 million in humanitarian assistance to Somalia and Djibouti, as millions are grappling with the consequences of prolonged extreme weather conditions.
The funding comes ahead of the Somalia Partnership Forum co-hosted by the European Union taking place next week over 16-17 July.
“The devastating effects of two years of drought and the recent intense flooding are taking their toll on the livelihood of millions of people in Somalia,” said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides. “Our aid will target the most vulnerable and provide life-saving support to those affected by climatic shocks and internal conflict.”
Out of the aid package, €89 million in emergency assistance will be channelled in Somalia to reach communities displaced by severe drought, focussing on the prevention and treatment of malnutrition, water supply and livestock protection, as well as health measures against epidemics.
A further €500,000 is going to Djibouti to support refugees in the country (mostly fleeing the conflict in Yemen, but also from Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea) by providing water, sanitation and protection to the communities living in the Ali Addeh, Hol Hol and Markazi refugee camps.
With €119 million allocated to Somalia in 2017 alone, the EU has drastically scaled up its humanitarian assistance to the country, helping to avert a catastrophe similar to the 2011 famine which resulted in 260,000 deaths.
About half of Somalia’s 12 million inhabitants are food insecure and in need of humanitarian assistance, while an estimated 1.2 million children are expected to be acutely malnourished during the course of 2018. The country has 2.6 million internally displaced people, and the situation worsened following the April 2018 floods, which affected 427,000 people and left 175,000 displaced. In addition to climate shocks, conflict remains at the centre of the humanitarian crisis in Somalia with insecurity and violence taking a heavy toll on civilians for decades, affecting livelihoods and hampering economic progress and development.
In Djibouti, the European Union provides humanitarian aid to the refugee population as well as the host communities. Since 2012, over €10 million in emergency assistance has been allocated to the country. Humanitarian funding from the European Union provides refugees with access to clean water and sanitation as well as, protection.
Emergency assistance links up with longer-term development strategies to mitigate the impact of climate shocks and promote resilience among the affected communities.