European Commission provides €125m El Niño aid package

3 Dec 15

The European Commission has announced a €125m aid package for countries affected by the climate phenomenon El Niño.


The funds are intended to deliver assistance to the millions of people vulnerable to impacts of the strongest El Niño on record. This year the cyclical warming of the tropical Pacific has caused drought and heavy rainfall across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Neven Mimica, EU commissioner for international cooperation and development, said: “We have to react now so El Niño does not undermine the efforts in poverty alleviation in many countries in the world we have fought so hard to achieve.”

Reserves from the European Development Fund will contribute €119m, while the remaining €6m will come from the EU’s humanitarian budget.

The support will combine humanitarian and development assistance to address the immediate nutrition, water and sanitation needs with projects to build resilience in countries most exposed to El Niño.

The worst-hit country so far this year is Ethiopia, where drought had pushed 8.2m into food insecurity by October this year, and the number is expected to rise.

Countries in Central America and the Caribbean are also being severely affected, in particular Guatemala and Haiti. The current drought is considered to be the most severe in the region in more than 100 years, with about 34 million people affected worldwide.

The United Nations Central Emergency Respond Fund announced yesterday it has provided $76m for the crisis to date. 

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