Tag Archives: famine

EU supports East Africa in locust outbreak

The EU has mobilised a further €15 million to support the United Nations and partner countries in the fight against one of the worst desert locust outbreaks seen in East Africa in decades.

The desert locust outbreak has had a devastating impact on food security in an already vulnerable region. Efforts to halt the spread of the locust infestation have been further strained due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is why the EU is increasing its support to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) response plan and will support broader EU development cooperation and humanitarian assistance in the region.

Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said: “Our friends and partners in the Horn of Africa have experienced the catastrophic consequences of this desert locust outbreak on livelihoods and food security, a situation that is aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic which has made intervention efforts more difficult. Earlier this year we demonstrated the need to react quickly to combat the outbreak. Today’s decision to increase our support shows we are determined to continue our action to tackle food insecurity as a founding member of the Global Network Against Food Crises.”

The decision coincided with an Informal Ministerial on the Horn of Africa hosted by Finland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pekka Haavisto, and attended by Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen; African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, SmaŃ—l Chergui; UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Rosemary A. DiCarlo and IGAD Executive Secretary Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu.

The FAO has formulated a response plan, but given the continued desert locust crisis, country interventions must be scaled up to support national governments of the affected countries. The EU, together with partners in the region, is committed to containing this outbreak, anticipating its impacts on food and nutrition security and protecting the livelihoods of millions of vulnerable people across Eastern Africa and beyond.

The EU’s €15 million contribution announced today comes in addition to €42 million mobilised in early 2020 for a broad humanitarian-development approach in the region.

The desert locust is considered the most destructive migratory pest in the world. Crop and food losses in affected areas can be enormous, generating direct dramatic negative impacts on agriculture and livelihoods. Local food markets can also be affected, as food availability declines, impacting on an already vulnerable population through spikes to food prices.

The situation in East Africa has rapidly deteriorated, where 27.5 million people suffer from severe food insecurity and at least 35 million more are at risk. Weather conditions have been unusually conducive to the breeding and further spreading of locusts. Damage to crop and pasture have been devastating across Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia and the outbreak may spread to neighbouring countries, particularly Djibouti, Eritrea, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Yemen, Sudan, Iran, India and Pakistan are also at risk.

The FAO’s response plan estimates that around €206 million will be required for the most urgent activities for both desert locust control and agricultural livelihood protection and recovery.

EU Council on development

Refugee camps
The EU Council will address the humanitarian situation in Africa, Yemen and Syria. Development ministers are expected to express their concerns over deteriorating humanitarian crises and the risk on famine in several African countries, including Nigeria, South Sudan and Somalia.
 Following the EU-ACP Council of ministers on 4-5 May, development ministers will discuss the future relations between the EU and the ACP countries after the Cotonou Agreement expires in February 2020. The basis for the discussions is a joint communication of  November 2016 from the European Commission and the High
Representative.

Joint doorstep by Federica MOGHERINI, High Representative of the EU
Neven MIMICA, charged with International Co-operation development
Amina J.MOHAMMED, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General

Troika “deeply troubled” by conflict in South Sudan

“The members of the Troika (the UK, US and Norway) and the EU are deeply troubled by the ongoing conflict in South Sudan. We echo the concerns highlighted recently by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat and Chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission President Festus Mogae on increased violence, and strongly endorse their call to end all military operations immediately” – says the statement by the Troika and EU on the security situation in South Sudan.

“Opposition attacks on civilians are disrupting lifesaving aid and commercial trade. Large government offensives in Yuai, Waat, Tonga and Kodok have resulted in even more tragic humanitarian consequences, displacing 50,000-100,000 individuals in recent weeks. Government forces continue to target civilians in violation of the law of armed conflict. These actions stand in direct conflict with the Government’s stated aim of a political solution to the conflict, and severely undermine the prospect of any credible national dialogue. The Troika and EU call on President Kiir to implement immediately his commitment to a unilateral ceasefire as conveyed to IGAD heads of state on 25 March.”

“We continue to underline that there is no military solution to the conflict. The Government of South Sudan must ensure that there is a meaningful ceasefire which shows a genuine commitment to peace and stability, and is not simply a reflection of the fact that fighting is made more difficult by the rainy season. Such a commitment must go beyond simply a cessation of hostilities, and include withdrawing troops; disbanding ethnic militias; helping, not hindering humanitarian assistance; and releasing political detainees.”

EU saving lives in Horn of Africa

A Humanitarian Crisis Meeting on the alarming levels offood insecurity in the Horn of Africa was held in Brussels on 5 April 2017.

The meeting was co-hosted by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs (EU HR), Mr Sigmar Gabriel, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, and Mr Stephen O’Brien, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

The objective of the meeting was to raise awareness and share analysis on the dire humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa. Urgent and coordinated action is needed by the international community to rapidly and effectively scale-up life-saving humanitarian aid. While the United Nations and humanitarian partners have already intensified their life-saving response, more funding and access is needed.

 

With several million people starving and at risk of famine, the Horn of Africa is in dire need of life-saving humanitarian assistance to prevent recurrence of the famine of 2011 in Somalia. Several countries in the area are affected by conflict and displacement, a situation further exacerbated by consecutive severe droughts. The situation is especially dire in Somalia. Millions are also struggling in Ethiopia and Kenya, despite broad and strong support by the Governments. This poses a serious threat to the stability of the region as well as to the security and development gains achieved over the past years.

Humanitarian organisations warn that millions of people could starve if life-saving assistance cannot be providedrapidly. United Nations has described the currentsituation as dramatic and called for urgent action, including funding and humanitarian access.

Humanitarian partners require more than US$5.6 billion in 2017 for Somalia, South Sudan, North-Eastern Nigeria and Yemen. Of this, more than US$4.4 billion is required for immediate assistance to avert an even greater catastrophe.

The EU High Representative (HR), Germany and United Nations reaffirmed their commitment to support the efforts to assist people in need and recognized the extraordinary work done by humanitarian workers often in very difficult circumstances. The EU HR, Germany and United Nations commended the considerable success some governments in the region have achieved in strengthening drought resilience and recognized the efforts of Governments and humanitarian partners in responding to the crisis.

Humanitarian assistance, however, cannot address the structural deficits and root causes underlying the protracted conflicts and food insecurity. Political solutions as well as a parallel scale-up in longer-term action are needed to prevent a recurrence of the situation.

The EU HR, Germany and United Nations called on all partners to increase support for humanitarian assistance in the Horn of Africa and other crisis areas. The HR/VP, Germany and United Nations stressed that common efforts can only be effective as long as access for the timely delivery of humanitarian aid is granted.

The meeting also served to provide input to the London conference on Somalia on 11 May 2017 and the international meeting “The Berlin Humanitarian Call – jointly against famine” taking place on 12 April 2017 in Berlin.

The meeting was held in the presence of ministerial level representatives from national governments and international organisations, notably several EU Members States, Mr Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid & Crisis Management, Norway, Switzerland, ICRC, FAO, WFP and Norwegian Refugee Council.