Horn of Africa: Droughts

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 27th April 2022.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Geneva conference on drought in the Horn of Africa on 26 April 2022, whether her Department has plans to allocate additional funding to help prevent famine in that region.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK is deeply concerned by the worsening humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa and welcomed the timely conference on drought in the region convened by the UN and the EU in Geneva on 26 April. In January, I announced a £17 million package of emergency humanitarian assistance to address critical needs in Ethiopia (£5 million), South Sudan (£3 million), Somalia (£8 million) and Kenya (£1 million). In February, a further £5.5 million of support was allocated for Somalia, and in March a further £1.6 million to support the drought response in Ethiopia. On 26 April, I announced a further £25 million in aid to provide vital services to almost a million people in Somalia, including food relief and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) support, as the country teeters on the brink of widespread famine.

Our response to the drought builds on long-established resilience building programmes in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. In Kenya this includes support to the Hunger Safety Programme, which has provided 600,000 people in drought prone areas with regular financial assistance alongside efforts to promote strengthened national disaster management capacity. In Ethiopia, the UK funded Productive Safety Net Programme has benefitted some 8 million people via financial welfare provision and community public works projects, which promote soil and water conservation. In Somalia the UK has been supporting over 220 rural communities through its multi-year resilience programme and in three large urban cities with durable solutions initiatives for internally displaced persons. These programmes, coupled with additional investments, have enabled the UK to reach nearly 8 million individuals as a part of its emergency humanitarian response.

The UK remains committed to promoting peace and security across the Horn of Africa.

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