Food assistance – €160 million
In humanitarian aid, food assistance plays a vital role. In 2007, food assistance, nutritional care and short term agricultural support accounted for more than half (57%) of the total annual humanitarian needs requested through the United Nations’ Consolidated Annual Appeal. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that 854 million people face chronic hunger across the globe. In addition to funding the supply of basic foodstuff, to meet the immediate needs of crisis victims, the Commission’s food assistance also covers nutritional interventions and short-term livelihood support for vulnerable people. The focus is on the priority needs of crisis-affected and crisis-prone populations facing acute food-insecurity. The Commission’s food assistance is geographically widespread and includes: Afghanistan, Burundi and refugees mainly from Burundi located in Tanzania, Chad, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Nepal, the Sahel countries, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan (Darfur and South Sudan), Uganda, West Bank and Gaza Strip and Zimbabwe. It is estimated that more than 18.5 million people will benefit from this decision.
In 2007, the Commission provided funding for emergency food aid, nutrition and short-term livelihood support in more than 30 countries worldwide for over €220 million.
Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan – €25 million
Humanitarian assistance remains necessary for the most vulnerable people in Afghanistan. These include hundreds of thousands of former refugees returning from Iran and Pakistan who need help with reintegration as well as internally displaced Afghans and their host communities. The main areas for Commission-funded interventions are drinking water, sanitation/hygiene education, shelter, basic livelihood support and protection. Disaster preparedness measures, designed to strengthen the coping capacity of the Afghan population and institutions, will also be supported, as the country regularly suffers natural disasters including floods, landslides, droughts and earthquakes. The aid plan extends to refugees still in Iran and Pakistan: there are still more than two million Afghans in Pakistan and around 900,000 in Iran.
Burundi and Tanzania – €20 million
ECHO has developed a joint global plan for Burundi and Tanzania to respond efficiently to humanitarian needs in the two countries. The groups targeted include Burundian and Congolese refugees still in Tanzania and vulnerable communities inside Burundi. A key objective is to maintain integrated humanitarian aid to refugees and expelled people in camps in both countries covering water and sanitation, health, nutrition, housing and protection. A further aim is to improve conditions for the repatriation of refugees to their country of origin. Around 110,000 Burundian refugees are still being assisted in Tanzania (alongside 92,000 refugees from the DRC and of mixed origin). For vulnerable groups in Burundi, the emphasis will be on food security and health care.
Chad – €17 million
The Commission’s aid efforts continue to cover all the traditional humanitarian assistance sectors: food aid, health/nutrition, water/sanitation, shelter and emergency ‘non-food’ items (like soap, water containers, blankets), protection as well as humanitarian coordination and air transport. Beneficiaries include Sudanese refugees from Darfur, refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR), internally displaced Chadians (IDPs) from the border regions with Darfur and vulnerable resident populations in the regions hosting refugees and IDPs.
Colombia – €12 million
With more than 3.9 million internally displaced people (IDPs), Colombia has the second largest displacement caseload in the world after Sudan. The Commission remains one of the key international humanitarian donors in the country, focusing on the people who have been driven from their homes and those at risk in rural areas, where there is only a limited presence of state institutions and humanitarian actors. Around 190,000 people will benefit from the aid including some 60,000 Colombians in Ecuador, Venezuela and Panama.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – €30 million + €8 million ‘ECHO Flight’
Commission-funded relief activities in DRC will be similar to 2007, with particular attention to the current needs created by the renewed crisis in North Kivu. The main objective is to provide an integrated package of assistance to displaced people, returnees and targeted vulnerable host communities affected by the complex emergency. Sectors of intervention include healthcare, nutrition, emergency food security, non-food items, community based rehabilitation, logistics, protection and coordination. One particular objective of the plan is to support relief partners with the necessary capacity to help victims of sexual violence.
A number of humanitarian projects in the DRC can only be reached by air. To meet the need for safe humanitarian access, the Commission also intends to continue its ‘ECHO Flight’ service, with a further budget of €8 million. ‘ECHO Flight’, which has three aircraft, also carries out emergency evacuations for safety-related or medical reasons.
Liberia – €15.6 million
Despite positive developments, Liberia still requires humanitarian assistance as the government builds up its capacity to take over from international agencies. For most of the population, access to adequate services including drinking water, healthcare, sanitation, shelter and livelihood opportunities, remains very limited. A particular objective of the Commission’s humanitarian aid is to help tackle the problem of gender-based violence. An estimated one million people will benefit from the latest funding.
Sudan – €70 million
With its €70 million global humanitarian aid plan, the Commission will continue to assist refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) as well as communities facing serious threats to their survival in Southern Sudan. In the Darfur region, generally considered to be the location of the world’s largest humanitarian crisis at present, millions of people depend on external aid. The Commission will continue providing integrated assistance, to save lives and stabilise the living conditions of IDPs, refugees, and host communities. There are approximately 2.2 million IDPs in Darfur as well as more than 50,000 refugees from Chad due to the spill-over from the Darfur conflict. More than 700,000 Sudanese are still living in neighbouring countries as refugees. Throughout Sudan, ECHO aims to reduce mortality linked to disease outbreaks, natural disasters and conflict.
Uganda – €12 million
Uganda has been experiencing insecurity (caused by the so-called “Lords Resistance Army”) and climatic hazards, in particular drought and floods. However, over the past year the situation has improved. The positive changes have prompted an initial return process, accelerating the movement out of the camps of the original 1.8 million internally displaced people. The Commission’s main specific objective in Northern Uganda is to support the current return and transitional phase, providing adequate assistance to returnees, while continuing to relieve the suffering of the most vulnerable refugees and IDP’s in the camps. Humanitarian and transition needs will coexist for at least the next 18-24 months with a progressive increase of the latter as return movements intensifies.
For further information: http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm