EU worried by African famine

July 23, 2012 at 8:43 AM

BRUSSELS, July 23 (UPI) -- Despite substantial financial commitment for drought and famine relief in the Horn of Africa, more work needs to be done, European leaders said.

The European Commission said it was able to reach an estimated 6.5 million people in the region through its $219 million in humanitarian aid in the 2011 budget.

EU Commissioner for Civilian Protection Kristalina Georgieva and Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said, there were still 9 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

"Thanks to the massive international assistance given and the abatement of the drought, today the overall situation in the Horn of Africa is better than at any time during 2011 but the challenges remain huge and there is no room for complacency," their statement read.

The leaders said their efforts would focus on long-term relief to stave off a lingering crisis in the region.

The European leaders said the situation in the region is complicated by population growth and geopolitical instability. Insecurity, they said, affected more than 13 million people in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti.

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