Britain announced on Monday a $23.2 million package to support countries in East Africa affected by extreme drought and flooding.
The UK’s Minister for Africa Vicky Ford, who is on a three-day visit to Kenya, said the 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.
“The funding is expected to support almost 500,000 people in Somalia to access clean water and afford food supplies, as well as providing 100,000 people in South Sudan and 26,000 children in Kenya with a combination of food assistance, water and hygiene supplies,” Ford said in a statement issued in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
According to Britain, extreme weather events associated with climate change are worsening pre-existing drought and flood cycles and ruining harvests.
It said poor governance and ongoing conflicts in Somalia, South Sudan and Ethiopia are exacerbating the impact of these events by displacing vulnerable communities, destroying livelihoods and limiting access to humanitarian assistance.
“The UK’s commitment to supporting our partners in East Africa is unwavering and we know that early action now can prevent mass loss of life,” Ford said, noting that climate change is not a future problem since it is driving a humanitarian emergency right now.
According to Ford, 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. Enditem