KAMPALA – The European Commission – EU has allocated €32 million (about Ugx140 billion) in aid to Uganda as humanitarian needs in the Horn of Africa increase, a press statement issued on Monday in Kampala, indicated. The fund is part of the Commission’s new funding of €149 million in aid for the wider ‘Horn of Africa’ in 2021.
Janez Lenar?i? – the EC Commissioner for Crisis Management said in a statement; “During the past year, the Greater Horn of Africa countries, in addition to being affected by conflict and displacement, have also been facing the so-called triple threat of desert locust infestation; the impact of climate change; and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With millions in need of urgent assistance in the region, the EU is ensuring that emergency lifesaving support – such as food, nutrition, health and protection, reaches those in need.”
The funding will as well support humanitarian projects in Djibouti as follows; (€500,000), Kenya (€14 million), Somalia (€42.5 million) and Sudan (€52 million). In addition, €8 million (about Ugx35 billion) is allocated to the efforts against the Desert Locust infestation.
According the statement, in Uganda, almost four million citizens in addition to 1.4 million refugees, who are in need of humanitarian support – which situation is worsened by the COVID-19 crisis in undermining the country’s commitment towards a progressive policy on refugees.
“The EU humanitarian funding will focus on providing assistance to the most vulnerable refugees and their host communities, as well as strengthening disaster preparedness to address multiple crises, including epidemics,” adds, the statement.
The EU recently announced new humanitarian funding of €53.7 million for Ethiopia and €43.5 million for South Sudan during the Commissioner, Lenar?i?’s visits to these countries.
Of the total funds allocated across the region, around €30 million (about Ugx130 billion) will be going towards projects that would provide education to children caught up in humanitarian crises.
Around 11.5 million people are displaced in the Greater Horn of Africa region, of whom more than four million are refugees.
In Sudan, there are more than 13.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, including one million registered asylum-seekers and refugees; while more than 9 million people require food assistance.
Since November 2020, the Tigray conflict in neighbouring Ethiopia and the border tension around the agricultural fertile land of Al Fashaga presents an additional risk for the fragile political transition and has already resulted in thousands of refugees fleeing the Tigray region, and other regions of Ethiopia.
In Uganda, almost four million citizens and 1.4 million refugees are in need of humanitarian support. Economic hardship, further worsened by the COVID-19 crisis, is undermining the country’s commitment to a progressive policy towards refugees.
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. With over 35 million people in the region already facing food insecurity, the desert locust upsurge remains an unprecedented threat to food security.
In their updated appeal for 2021, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations – FAO estimates that still 3.3 million people are at risk of food insecurity due to the Desert Locust in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan.