The Commission is actively responding to the humanitarian crisis in eastern Africa caused by the drought that is affecting large parts of the greater Horn of Africa. Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are most affected. The United Nations issued a pre-famine alert for Somalia early in 2017.
In Kenya, the government declared the drought a national disaster in February 2017. In Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia altogether there are now 13.6 million people facing acute food insecurity and are in need of humanitarian assistance. The lack of water has also caused an outbreak of acute watery diarrhoea and cholera, with Somalia taking the brunt of cases.
The EU is actively supporting the scaling up of the life-saving humanitarian response to the drought. For the overall emergency response in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, the Commission is mobilising EUR 154.55 million, out of which 71% is directly drought-related.
EU Member States reported humanitarian assistance to Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya worth over EUR 324 million so far in 2017. In addition, the EU is providing nearly EUR 1 billion under the 11th European Development Fund for resilience-related development programmes within the region, helping countries and communities to withstand and recover from food insecurity and malnutrition.
The Commission has humanitarian field experts permanently based in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia (as well as Uganda, where the main concern is the influx of South Sudanese refugees), who are in close contact with partner relief organisations.
Whereas insecurity is a major impediment for the humanitarian response in Somalia, the Commission nevertheless seeks to monitor all its supported actions on the ground, while partner organisations are subject to very strict monitoring, evaluation and reporting requirements.