EU announces $83m in humanitarian aid for Horn of Africa

With the Horn of Africa continuing to face a multitude of crises from recurrent cycles of conflict to natural disasters, affecting millions of people, the EU has announced €77 million ($83.1 million) humanitarian aid for the region in 2016. The Horn of Africa is hosting some 1.7 million refugees.

EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, made the announcement during his visit to Kenya on Thursday, where he visited the Dadaab refugee camp, the largest in the world, hosting over 350 000 people. In total, Kenya hosts close to 600,000 refugees. 183 000 of these have sought refuge in Kakuma, located in the northwest of the country. The majority come from neighbouring South Sudan and Somalia. Refugees in Kenya predominantly depend on humanitarian assistance, as they are not allowed to work for a living.

“Today I travelled to Dadaab, where the first Somali refugees found shelter from conflict and hunger 25 years ago,” said Stylianides. “I witnessed the immense needs of families whose lives have been changed forever. These people rely on our humanitarian assistance. I was also touched by the hospitality shown by the Kenyan people. No country can cope alone with the provision of essential services to so many refugees. We need to strengthen the resilience of both forcibly displaced populations and host communities.”

Out of the €77 million announced, €17 million ($18.4 million) will go towards life-saving and emergency aid for the most vulnerable in Kenya. This will include food, health care, water, sanitation and hygiene, shelter, protection and education in emergencies.

A significant number of people in the Horn of Africa are affected either by forced displacement, or by food insecurity and malnutrition – or in many cases, both. The region is also home to some 1.7 million refugees, mostly from South Sudan and Somalia.

With €29 million ($31.3 million), Somalia will be the main aid recipient, followed by Ethiopia (€25 million) and Kenya (€17 million).