Emergency Trust Fund for Africa: EU mobilises almost €100 million to support the most vulnerable in the Horn of Africa


(Sara Kurfeß, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

The European Union is mobilising €97.2 million of additional funding for programmes in the Horn of Africa to support the creation of job opportunities, public finance management, and access to education for vulnerable groups, in particular refugees and displaced persons, under the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF).

Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen said: “The Emergency Trust Fund for Africa has been key for addressing the needs of some of the most vulnerable populations in Africa, including women and youth. It has already supported nearly 190,000 beneficiaries in the Horn of Africa in developing income generating activities and improved access to basic services for close to half a million people. Furthermore, it has been key in supporting the civilian-led transition in Sudan, a historic opportunity that will benefit the country’s population, and peace and stability in the region.

Support to Sudan and South Sudan

Four new programmes amounting to a total of €65 million were adopted under the EUTF to address the social and economic crisis in Sudan. These programmes were part of the EU pledge during the High-Level Sudan Partnership Conference on 25 June that mobilised $1.8 billion (€1.6 billion) in total to support the democratic transition, economic recovery and humanitarian needs of the country. An important objective is to economically empower women and youth, to reduce the social inequalities they face and to enable better economic integration.

A €10 million programme will support institutions, such as the Ministry of Finance, in capacity building and public finance management. A €30 million programme will create economic opportunities for women and youth, and a €10 million programme will support sustainable peace, rule of law and human rights during the country’s move towards fair and free elections. Finally, a programme focusing on access to and improvement of teaching and learning in primary schools will receive an additional €15 million. The programme will expand its reach, paying particular attention to vulnerable groups such as forcedly displaced people and refugees, especially girls.

In South Sudan, a €5 million programme will aim to create job opportunities by developing value chains and supporting the private sector, with a focus on youth and women. €19.7 million will be allocated to four new programmes in Eritrea, namely to support the implementation of the Universal Periodic Review Recommendations, diaspora engagement, justice administration, and economic growth through job creation and public finance management.

Regional initiative

The Emergency Transit Mechanism in Rwanda will receive an additional €2.5 million. This programme provides a life-saving avenue out of Libya for people in need of international protection, with a view to their further resettlement. Lastly, an additional €5 million will support the Intergovernmental Authority on Development(IGAD) and its Member States in ensuring continued dialogue and national level implementation of the Protocols on Free Movement of Persons and Transhumance.

Global response to the coronavirus pandemic

EUTF for Africa programmes also support the ‘Team Europe’ global response to the coronavirus crisis, focusing on some of the most vulnerable communities in the context of migration and forced displacement, such as refugees, internally displaced people, and their host communities.

Overall in the Horn of Africa, the EUTF has reoriented programmes worth about €153.1 million to tackle the health and economic consequences of the pandemic. This total includes the top-ups that were also approved now:

  •  €6.5 million to support the emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic via the Urban Productive Safety Net programme that provides income support to workers in the informal economy in Ethiopia.
  • €7.6 million for the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs programme to improve infrastructure, enhance services for and address the needs of vulnerable displaced populations in Ethiopia facing the coronavirus pandemic.


The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa was established in 2015 to address the root causes of instability, forced displacement and irregular migration and to contribute to better migration management. EU institutions, EU Member States and other donors have so far allocated resources amounting to €5.0 billion to the EUTF.

With the adoption of these new projects and top-ups, the EUTF now funds 239 programmes with a total of €4.68 billion. The funding is divided between three regions as follows: Sahel/Lake Chad, €2.09 billion (105 programmes); Horn of Africa, €1.79 billion (99 programmes); North of Africa, 807 million (31 programmes). The total amount includes four cross-regional programmes.

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