The European Union announced Monday it will give nearly $196 million to 10 crisis areas in Africa – regions that have been affected by conflict, drought or floods.
Funds are being allocated to Sudan, the DRC, Burundi, Chad, Liberia, Tanzania, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Madagascar and the Comoros.
To learn more, English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua spoke to Louis Michel, the EU Development and Humanitarian Aid Commissioner. He called the crises in Africa “silent tsunamis.”
Mr. Michel says, “Today, of course, we remember the victims of the tsunami in Southeast Asia. But at the same time it is necessary to remember that millions of vulnerable people in Africa, for instance, are exposed to natural disasters, like droughts, floods and insect infestations, as well as armed conflicts. And I think it’s a good moment to remember that the European Commission is committed also with all the forgotten crises. It is our duty.”
Sudan is receiving the largest share of the EU money. Mr. Michel says, “If you take the measure of the problems we are facing in Sudan, of course, it is one of the most awful crises we have to face. If you take, for instance, the Darfur conflict displaced almost two million people on top of the four million resulting from north-south conflict.” On his web page, Louis Michel says, “There is no such thing as destiny or fate. We can only count on goodwill, generosity of spirit and optimism.”
Asked about the quote, he says, “This is my personal philosophy. I think nothing is ever desperate. I think only action and optimism can face the desperate situations of the world and of life.”
The EU commissioner says both the European Union and the United States should give more money to poor nations in Africa.