Source AP ©

EU approves EUR 4 million in humanitarian aid to help Somalia refugees

The funds will be used to provide shelter, food, water and medical supplies for people fleeing the recent fighting between Islamist insurgents and Ethiopian-led forces.

A drought, floods and an outbreak of Rift Valley fever have increased the need for additional aid, officials said.

The funds come on top of EUR21 million (US$28.3 million) already allocated to Somalia by the EU this year.

EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Olli Rehn urged those fighting in Somalia to commit to a cease-fire. He called it a precondition for the national reconciliation congress in Somalia expected to start mid-June to be effective.

"There is no military way out," Rehn said in a statement. "Only an inclusive political settlement can put an end to the cycle of violence which has devastated the country over the last 16 years."

The EU has provided a total of EUR32.5 million ($43.7 million) in humanitarian aid to Somalia since 2004.

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