By Muhammed Ali Gurtas
The European Union released €89 million (nearly $105 million) in humanitarian assistance to Somalia, according to the European Commission on Wednesday.
The Commission stated that the funding comes ahead of the Somalia Partnership Forum co-hosted by the EU taking place next week on July 16-17.
"The devastating effects of two years of drought and the recent intense flooding are taking their toll on the livelihood of millions of people in Somalia," Commissioner Christos Stylianides, in charge of humanitarian aid and crisis management, said in the statement.
"Our aid will target the most vulnerable and provide life-saving support to those affected by climatic shocks and internal conflict," Stylianides said.
The Commission noted that the EU has drastically scaled up its humanitarian assistance to Somalia -- allocating €119 million (some $135 million) to the country last year alone.
"Out of the aid package, €89 million in emergency assistance will be channelled in Somalia to reach communities displaced by severe drought," it said, "...focussing on the prevention and treatment of malnutrition, water supply and livestock protection, as well as health measures against epidemics."
Pointing at half of Somalians' need for secure food supply and humanitarian aid, the Commission said that 1.2 million children are expected to be acutely malnourished during the course of 2018.
"The country has 2.6 million internally displaced people, and the situation worsened following the April 2018 floods, which affected 427,000 people and left 175,000 displaced," it said.
"In addition to climate shocks, conflict remains at the centre of the humanitarian crisis in Somalia with insecurity and violence taking a heavy toll on civilians for decades, affecting livelihoods and hampering economic progress and development."
The Commission also noted that a further €500,000 (around $585,000) is going to Djibouti to support refugees in the country by providing water, sanitation and protection to the communities living in refugee camps.
"In Djibouti, the EU provides humanitarian aid to the refugee population as well as the host communities," it said. "Since 2012, over €10 million in emergency assistance has been allocated to the country.
"Humanitarian funding from the EU provides refugees [in Djibouti] with access to clean water and sanitation as well as protection," the Commission added.