The European Commission said that it would increase humanitarian aid to Ethiopia to approximately €122.5 million to help the country deal with a deteriorating humanitarian situation caused by an extreme El Nino weather phenomenon. El Nino is characterized by rising temperatures and sea level, which interacts with the atmosphere and causes a variety of extreme environmental effects such as droughts or floods. Although the phenomenon has a global impact, it has particularly negative effects in Africa, where extreme weather conditions strongly impact health, food security, access to potable water and hygiene conditions for millions of people.
European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, commented that the humanitarian situation in the country is very worrying as more than 10 million people are currently struggling to find food. He said that the EU was taking action and the newly approved aid package will combine humanitarian assistance with early recovery assistance. “Our new support will allow us to step up our efforts to help the most vulnerable in Ethiopia,” he added. At the same time, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, commented that the support generally “aims at combining short-term life-saving with strengthening Ethiopia’s resilience by addressing the root causes of fragility and vulnerability.” Mr Mimica also stressed that “we can build on the past successes of Ethiopia which has already stepped up its efforts to tackle the drought crisis.”
The new package comes in addition to the first aid funding approved in December whose aim was also to fight the consequences of the El Nino phenomenon. The December package consisted of €79 million for the Greater Horn of Africa region, from which nearly €43 million would benefit Ethiopia. Over the last five years, the EU has provided more than €200 million in humanitarian aid. Ethiopia is also the largest beneficiary of EU development assistance, with a total country program totaling at €745 million between 2014 and 2020.