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International Partnerships
News announcement30 June 2022BrusselsDirectorate-General for International Partnerships2 min read

Horn of Africa initiative: the EU steps up its commitments to the region

Somali refugee farmer from Kenya in Dadaab camp with his harvest
© UNHCR - Assadullah Nasrullah

Jutta Urpilainen, EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, participated in the 13th Horn of Africa initiative Ministerial meeting. It was the occasion to reiterate EU’s full support to the initiative and to the Horn of Africa countries. The initiative based on cooperation, dialogue, and mutually-beneficial partnership has become even more relevant in the geopolitical context of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine which has sent food and energy prices soaring. The impact is especially dire in the Horn of Africa, which is already struggling to cope with the fallout of Covid-19, droughts and climate change.

During the meeting, Commissioner Urpilainen announced that the EU will step up its contribution to the Horn of Africa Initiative from €162 million euros to €430 million in 2022, in particular on resilience and food security.

The EU will also disburse €13.5 million in budget support to sustain Somalia’s political momentum to engage in reforms as well as a €125 million package for 2022 in order to support state-building, economic reforms and resilience and climate change actions. 

The EU remains committed to offer direct support to the increasingly vulnerable population of Ethiopia with individual measures implemented outside the structures of the Government of Ethiopia and is finalising a first set of individual measures worth €81.5 million to support population’s basic needs in education and health.  

Commissioner Urpilainen said: “Already severely impacted by the fallout of Covid-19, horrifying droughts, and the impact of climate change, the most vulnerable populations in the Horn of Africa region are now facing tremendous suffering with a worsened food crisis following Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. I’m glad to announce that the EU is stepping its support to the regional initiative, Somalia and the people of Ethiopia. By connecting countries together and the region to the world to narrow political tensions, achieve economic integration, and sustainable development, the Horn of Africa initiative is a perfect example of delivering tangibly on the EU AU Summit outcomes and a demonstration of the Global Gateway strategy in action.”

The Horn of Africa initiative has so far mobilised over $ 7.5 billion from its three development partners: the EU, the African Development Bank and World Bank Group. Development Partners were officially called on to integrate the initiative in order to bring in additional political and financial weight.

This meeting was also the occasion to formally endorse the ‘partnership framework’ that sets the conditions for new development partners to integrate the initiative.

Background information

The 13th Horn of Africa initiative Ministerial meeting. It was organised and chaired by H.E. Amb Ukur Yatani, Cabinet Secretary of Kenya as current Chairman of the initiative. The meeting gathered Ministers of Finances of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and, for the first time, South Sudan. The African Development Bank Vice-President and a representative of the World Bank also took part.

The Horn of Africa initiative was created in 2019 to promote regional economic integration as a way to foster peace, stability and sustainable development in the region. The initiative has a twofold ambition:

  1. Political: it provides an open and frank political forum for the region at Finance Minister’s level
  2. Development: it is anchored on a solid development package along 4 pillars: regional infrastructures, trade facilitation, resilience and human capital.

It gathers Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan as well as international partners, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank (WB) and the European Union (EU).


Publication date
30 June 2022
Directorate-General for International Partnerships