UK’s Minister for Africa Vicky Ford, who is on a three-country visit to East Africa, on Monday announced a $22 million (£17 million) support package for Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Sudan.
The funding will aid the East African nations in combating drought and floods that have in the past year rocked East Africa.
“The drought facing communities in East Africa is a humanitarian emergency. The UK’s commitment to supporting our partners is unwavering, and this £17m funding package will provide vital assistance to almost a million people across the region,” Ford said.
Ford also emphasized that the UK is promoting free, fair, and honest trade across Africa.
Ford was speaking while in Kenya’s Mombasa Port. She said that she witnessed the UK is supporting infrastructure and unlocking opportunities for firms based in the UK, including through the Economic Partnership Agreement signed with Kenya last year.
The UK aid package will provide vital assistance to almost a million people in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia who are facing the worst drought in decades, and in South Sudan who are suffering widespread flooding for a third consecutive year.
Ford blamed the natural calamities in East Africa on extreme weather events associated with climate change, events that have ruined harvests that support millions of livelihoods.
“For countries in East Africa, climate change is not a future problem – it is driving a humanitarian emergency right now. Catastrophic droughts and floods, paired with ongoing conflicts and poor governance in Somalia, South Sudan, and Ethiopia, are creating a perfect storm in East Africa which risks pushing hundreds of thousands of people into famine”.
In Somalia, approximately half of the population require life-saving aid due to the ongoing drought, a similar drought on the same scale in 2011 that led to 260,000 deaths in the Horn of Africa country.
In Kenya, the number of people in dire need of food has risen to almost 3 million.
More than 6.4 million people are estimated to require food assistance this year in drought-affected regions of Ethiopia.
In South Sudan, extreme flooding paired with ongoing violence has affected 835,000 people, including by pushing more than 350,000 people from their homes.
Via Anadolu Agency