Louis Michel, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, said: "Vulnerable people in many of the world's poorest countries are increasingly exposed to natural disasters, conflict and economic pressures that can rapidly lead to situations whereby people go hungry. The European Union has an essential role in providing them with food aid, and in restoring food production."
As with other forms of humanitarian assistance, food aid is given on the basis of need. Following a detailed assessment of levels of food insecurity, a list of 17 priority locations has been established: Sudan, Chad, Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Burundi, the Sahel countries, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Colombia and the Palestinian Territories (West Bank and the Gaza Strip).
It is estimated that around 18.7 million people will benefit directly from this new Commission decision. Beneficiaries will include refugees, internally displaced people (IDPs) and host communities in areas affected by population displacement. Children and young mothers will be given priority.
The following types of project will be supported:
- Distribution of food aid to distressed populations in the aftermath of natural disasters, epidemics, or armed conflicts;
- Assistance for nutritional recovery of vulnerable groups in both sudden and protracted crises, especially targeting children under five and their mothers. This aid is provided when the food supply situation seriously deteriorates;
- 'Food-for-work' activities, aimed at re-establishing rural community assets. This will include income-generation projects; and
- Restoring the basic livelihood of vulnerable people returning home or resettling after a crisis. Planned activities include short-term support for family food production (e.g. through distribution of seeds, tools and fertilisers) and diversification of the supply of food sources (e.g. fishing as food production and domestic husbandry).
Most projects funded under this decision will be implemented by the UN World Food Programme. Nutrition and short-term food security activities will be channelled through other operational partners of the Commission including non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (IRC).
Regional Information Officer
Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO)
South Asia Regional Support Office
C 384 Defence Colony, 110024, New Delhi,
Tel: +91 11 243 36 311
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