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Published on November 2nd, 2012 | by EJC


Seminar: EU Efforts In Combatting Food Crisis And Piracy In The Horn Of Africa

The severe drought of 2011 has threatened more than 12 million people in the Horn of Africa, bringing hunger to Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia and causing famine in some parts of the region. Food insecurity in these countries remains high and is still a chronic problem. As a result of the crisis, these countries have seen an increase in food prices, school dropout rates, food riots and crime rates. While the international community has reacted effectively to this humanitarian crisis, efforts are now necessary for addressing the root causes of food insecurity.

Being the largest humanitarian donor to the Horn of Africa, the EU has provided around €730 million in humanitarian aid. On-going longer-term EU projects aim at strengthening the local and regional economies and population to better withstand future crises and protect their livelihoods during droughts.

Resilience to shocks cannot be achieved without improved security. To address the many security-related challenges in the Horn of Africa the EU is supporting and training the AMISOM mission, operates the anti-piracy EU NAVFOR – ATALANTA mission and is currently setting up a training mission for maritime forces in the region (EUCAP NESTOR).

Statement on Kenya by Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The European Journalism Centre, in cooperation with the European Commission’s Directorate for Development and Cooperation (EuropeAid) and the Delegation of the European Union to Kenya, is organizing a two-day media seminar in Kenya with the aim of raising public awareness of EU development funding and the long term benefits it brings to communities in need. Held during 4-5 December 2012, the seminar programme will provide insights into the EU’s efforts on the ground and will include visits to sustainable projects centered around the topics of food security and security in the region.

On the first day visiting journalists will travel to the arid district of Isiolo to see the recently created market in Merille that helps rural communities in arid areas to withstand droughts, and become more resilient in their lives. It not only offers the local population the infrastructure to trade their animals, but it also provides veterinary services and training on how to successfully market animals, as well as storage facilities for times of drought. A second project visit will introduce the use and marketing of camel milk undertaken by women cooperatives.

The journalists will spend a second day in and around Mombasa. The group will visit a Belgian frigate, which is part of the EUNAVFOR operation to protect the regional waters against pirates. The ship is temporarily anchored in Mombasa, training AMISOM staff.

© European Union, 2012

The journalists will also have the opportunity to visit an innovative science-led tsetse repellent technology project that is currently being implemented around Shimba Hills in Kenya. Each year, in Africa the tsetse fly kills millions of livestock, which restricts agricultural production and food availability and impoverishes farmers. Around 90% of the farmers who take part in this innovative project report that the technology is effective in protecting their cattle.

EU correspondents based in Kenya are eligible to apply to participate in this seminar.

Interested journalists can apply here or contact Diana Lungu at lungu@ejc.net and Malou Oldenhof at oldenhof@ejc.net. The organisers will cover travel, accommodation and meals during the seminar days.

Photo: HornLight

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