JOHANNESBURG – The European Commission has adopted seven new programmes and additional funds for two existing projects, worth €99.5 million (US $111,1million), in which they will support ongoing efforts to help vulnerable people in the Horn of Africa.
The Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said the efforts would help usher in peace and stability in the troubled region.
“The Horn of Africa has an unprecedented opportunity to shore up peace and stability throughout the region. The nearly €100 million approved will support vulnerable communities, contributing therefore directly to that peace and stability,” said Mimica.
At national level, four new programmes have been approved in South Sudan, Sudan and Ethiopia. The EU’s involvement in South Sudan will see increased access to primary and secondary education for children in remote areas and access to health services, including nutrition services, especially for pregnant women and children under five, while in Sudan, efforts are being made to better access to health for displaced populations and host communities in Darfur.
In Ethiopia, the funds will go towards socio-economic development and peace-building for vulnerable and marginalised communities in the Tigray region, while alongside these, two newly approved programmes will support the UN’s Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework in Ethiopia and the Great Lakes region.
The initiative will also cover Ethiopia’s Gambella region, where support will go towards health service delivery for host communities, refugees and other displaced people. The Great Lakes region will see enhanced dialogue for better solutions for displaced people and host communities in Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Migration challenges in this region, which hosts the highest number of refugees in the world, will continue to be addressed through the second phase of the Better Migration Management Programme.
New funds have been approved for two ongoing programmes in Kenya, where extra more than US$1 million will go towards a youth programme, while additional half a million euros will support the country’s strategy to counter violent extremism.
The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa was established in 2015 to address the root causes of instability, irregular migration and forced displacement. EU institutions, EU Member States and other donors have so far allocated €4.2 billion (US$4,7 billion) to the Trust Fund.
With these seven new programmes, the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa counts 200 approved programmes, worth nearly €4 billion (US$4,5 billion), across the three regions (the North of Africa, the Sahel and Lake Chad region and the Horn of Africa).
The funding is divided up among 21 programmes in North of Africa, 97 programmes in the Sahel/Lake Chad, and 77 programmes in the Horn of Africa. There are also five cross-regional programmes.