The EU announced today new funding of €24.5 million in humanitarian aid for the Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region.
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said “The Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region is highly vulnerable to various natural hazards, including cyclones, droughts and epidemics. In some countries of the region, this is exacerbated by a challenging political and socio-economic environment, while the overall situation is aggravated further due to the coronavirus pandemic. EU assistance seeks to alleviate the humanitarian consequences on the most vulnerable populations, and improve disaster preparedness in the region.”
Vulnerable households in Lesotho have been particularly hard-hit after years of successive droughts and failed harvests. A funding package of €780, 000 from this regional support will go to humanitarian projects in Lesotho. €180, 000 of the assistance package will be geared towards Education in emergencies (EiE), while €600, 000 will go to Disaster Preparedness (DP) projects.
EU humanitarian aid to the region seeks to provide a response to the humanitarian consequences of the conflict in northern Mozambique, where €7.86 million of EU funding will be directed.
Furthermore, EU aid will provide assistance against the socio-economic crisis in Zimbabwe, to address food insecurity, and to support COVID-19 preparedness and response.
In Madagascar, the EU will provide assistance to address the severe food and nutrition crisis.
A further €6 million will be dedicated to helping children across the whole region gain access to education. Another €8 million will be provided to improve the region’s disaster preparedness.
The coronavirus pandemic exacerbated an already difficult situation in Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean. The region faces natural hazards, including recurring droughts and cyclones, on top of economic and political challenges.
Disasters represent a major source of risk for the most vulnerable populations and can undermine development gains. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many poor households are having difficulty in meeting food and non-food needs because of lockdowns and other coronavirus-related restrictive measures.
Since 2014, the EU has mobilized over €237 million in assistance to the region, paying particular attention to disaster preparedness. The EU provides aid in the form of emergency cash transfers to vulnerable people affected by disasters and is also helping address food and nutrition needs in affected areas.
With the security situation deteriorating in northern Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province, the EU is supporting vulnerable displaced and affected people with shelter, food, protection and access to healthcare.