The Foreign Ministry is contributing to the World Food Programme (WFP) project in Somalia to help provide food to the country’s inhabitants. In 2011 humanitarian aid activities helped to alleviate the humanitarian situation, which had suddenly grown worse due to drought. However, there are still 4 million people that require daily food aid and 250 000 people at the risk of dying of starvation.
Foreign Minister Paet stated that humanitarian aid organisations have made their work in Somalia more effective, but the humanitarian situation in Somalia remains poor and help is still needed in 2012. “The World Food Programme project that Estonia is supporting with 70 000 euros aims to provide primary food supplies to 1.5 million people, nearly half of them children,” he added. Paet said that Estonia has participated in the anti-piracy mission ATALANTA with a vessel protection unit since November 2010, protecting ships carrying WFP food aid together with Germany and France.
The Foreign Ministry is also supporting a UNICEF project for improving access to education within the crisis situation in South Sudan with a donation of 50 000 euros. Regardless of the tense situation and constant resettling, it is still necessary to provide children with an education, said the Estonian foreign minister. “South Sudan’s relations with Sudan remain strained. Armed encounters continue, refugee camps have been bombed, and the humanitarian situation is dire,” he stated.
South Sudan is one of the least developed countries in the world. “Education is needed in all of South Sudan, but due to the crisis situation the education system is now mostly dependent on foreign aid,” said Paet. Access to education is complicated not only by conflicts, but also due to storms and flooding. Many schools have been destroyed due to flooding and more than 20 schools are currently occupied by the army, so children need to find new places to study.
The UNICEF project being supported by Estonia aims to help 240 000 children; the goal of the project is to help find and outfit safe classroom spaces.
The UN’s appeal for support for South Sudan in 2012 is for 776.5 million USD, of which 30% has currently been received.