The European Commission said Monday that it would offer 414 million euros (464.5 million dollars) for countries hit by the El Nino weather phenomenon, which is wreaking havoc with food production in parts of Africa and other developing regions.
El Nino is characterized by rising sea temperatures and can trigger extreme weather conditions ranging from floods to the droughts being experienced in Ethiopia. Globally, 41 million people are living in regions affected by El Nino, according to the commission.
The funding, which comes on top of 125 million euros pledged in December, is intended to address immediate needs such as nutrition, water and sanitation, as well as long-term disaster preparations, early response mechanisms and steps to achieve food security, the commission said.
The European Union's executive now needs to draft detailed proposals and win the backing of member states to make the new funding available.
Earlier this month, the commission also pledged to mobilize 122.5 million euros for Ethiopia, to address the immediate needs of people affected by El Nino. More than 10 million people face food insecurity in the Eastern African country, it said.