Drought: US provides $105m in humanitarian aid to Horn of Africa

By Oluwaseun Sonde

United States through US Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing nearly $105 million in critical humanitarian aid to bring immediate relief to the most vulnerable people in Horn of Africa.

US Agency disclosed this in a statement released on Monday as the aid is in response to the historic drought threatening millions of lives in the region.

According to the Agency, “The region which is in the midst of a fourth consecutive failed rainy season with worsening drought conditions increasing the likelihood of famine for hundreds of thousands of people in the Horn of Africa.

“While a fifth rainy season is forecasted to be drier than average, further devastating livelihoods for families who depend on crops and livestock for food to survive.  As a result, more than 16 million people need immediate humanitarian assistance.

The Agency stated that as a result, more than 16 million people need immediate humanitarian assistance.  “The number is expected to rise to unprecedented levels, with up to 20 million people in need of urgent assistance by September.

“This additional funding will enable USAID partners to provide lifesaving food assistance, support for health and nutrition services, and access to clean water”. 

Also added that the funding supports protection activities, such as safe spaces and case management for women and girls displaced by drought. 

The Agency noted that Russia’s war on Ukraine is further deepening a dire food crisis in the Horn of Africa, as already elevated food, fuel, and fertilizer prices soar even higher and shortages worsen.

“Like other regions in the Middle East and Africa, the Horn can no longer import critical wheat and other grains from Ukraine due to Russia’s unprovoked aggression, putting millions of women, men, and children at risk of death if they do not find enough food to eat. 

“Almost 70 percent of Somalia’s grain comes from Ukraine, and almost ten percent of Kenya’s comes from there”. 

The Agency further noted that US is the largest single-country donor of humanitarian assistance to the Horn of Africa, providing more than $507 million across the region since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2022, but more funding is needed urgently from other donors.

“Given the severity of the drought and the scale of humanitarian needs, the U.S. government is urging other donors to increase critically needed assistance to prevent famine and save the lives of millions of people”. 

The Agency lamented that the United States cannot meet the needs in the region on its own, calling on the donor community to come together to avoid more suffering and significant loss of life. 

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