THE European Union (EU) has ploughed an additional $2,49 million as humanitarian aid support to government in response to the El Nino-induced drought in Zimbabwe.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
The funding came barely five months after the EU allocated $8 million from the reserve of the 11th European Development Fund to address the impact of drought in Zimbabwe.
The funding is delivered through EU’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), the EU said in a press release on Friday.
With the latest funding, the EU has mobilised $27.57 million for measures to alleviate the El Niño-induced drought, such as cash-based responses and emergency livestock initiatives. Out of that amount, the total contribution from ECHO will reach $19,61 million.
“The EU has shown continuous solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe in the face of successive hazards and consequent humanitarian challenges. The worst has been avoided and we now have to prepare for the future, building more resilient communities against future climate shocks and other hazards,” said Ambassador Philippe Van Damme, EU Head of Delegation in Harare.
Through cash transfers initiatives we have contributed to prevent most vulnerable people to fall into chronic destitution while maintaining functioning markets; it is now important to strengthen capacities and coping mechanisms of these communities, improving, among others, their livelihood base systems, farming productivity and market linkages as well as better prepare them in case of new future disasters.”
The additional financial support brings to a total contribution by the EU and its Member States to combat the El Nino-induced crises in Zimbabwe to $114 million “to help in assisting some of the most vulnerable among the 4,1 million people that have become food insecure during the peak of the lean season and therefore, in need of humanitarian assistance”.
The EU said the latest funding will ensure EU’s implementing partners, including the UN World Food Programme and Save the Children, continue and increase the geographical reach of actions started in 2016 until the end of the lean season.
The EU Member States, of which 11 are represented in Harare and have since 2015 provided a total of $86 million for humanitarian relief programmes; in particular contributions from the United Kingdom/DFID, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Italy across a number of key sectors such as food assistance, water and sanitation, nutrition and overall support to livelihood systems.