Thursday, December 21, 2006
Humanitarian aid for Somali refugees in Kenya
Since the beginning of 2006, Kenya has seen a steadily increasing refugee influx from Somalia. Each day around 1,200 Somali refugees arrive currently in Kenya. The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has so far registered 32,000 new arrivals this year on top of the 126,000 Somalis already living in refugee camps in Kenya. The aim of the Commission's assistance is to support activities covering the basic needs of the new Somali refugees (shelter, food, basic health services , sanitation). EU humanitarian assistance inside Somalia Since 2003, funding for Somalia from the Commission's Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) has totalled €19.5 million, helping nearly one million of the most vulnerable people. Support includes funding hospitals, feeding malnourished children, providing clean water, helping displaced people to meet their basic needs and supporting agricultural and pastoral recovery with seeds, livestock and veterinary support. Drought preparedness in the Horn of Africa Additional funding to mitigate the effects of drought in the Horn of Africa has also been made available. The Commission's drought-related assistance for the region covers seven countries and totals €92 million (since 2005), including €31 million in humanitarian assistance. Working with partners European Commission funded humanitarian aid projects are implemented by non-governmental relief organisations, specialized UN agencies and the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement. All funds are channelled through ECHO under the responsibility of Commissioner Louis Michel. ECHO's regional support office in Nairobi closely follows developments in the humanitarian situation and monitors the use of the Commission's relief funds. EU engagement beyond humanitarian aid In May 2006, the Commission decided to provide €70 million for a Somalia Recovery Programme (SRP) to help making basic social services available to the poorest and most vulnerable people and to reduce food insecurity. The money comes from the 9th European Development Fund. The European Commission is also part of the International Somalia Contact Group which aims to contribute to peace and stabilisation in Somalia. In March, Commissioner Louis Michel called for a strategy for peace, security and development in the Horn of Africa focusing on regional governance, natural resource management and food security.  Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.
Source : European Commission