News: Germany grants €20 m to FAO’s drought response in Ethiopia Kenya and Somalia

10-year-old Bukhari Aden runs after his family’s camels after the animals find water near Beda’as kebele, Shebele zone in the Somali region of Ethiopia. © UNICEF/UN0583967/

Addis Abeba – Germany is providing assistance to the tune of 20 million Euro via the United Nations in order to mitigate the suffering from the ongoing severe drought in parts of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

Following a historic drought, the United Nations estimates that around 13 million people are at risk from hunger. Ethiopia is experiencing a prolonged drought after three consecutive failed rainy seasons since late 2020 affecting 6.8 million people living in Oromia, SNNP, Southwest and Somali regional state, several areas in southern and southeastern Ethiopia, including in the regions of Somali (10 zones), Oromia (8 zones), Southwest (1 zone) and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples – SNNP (7 zones). People living in these same areas have barely managed to recuperate from the severe drought in 2017 to witness again such harsh conditions, the first signs of which started appearing towards the end of 2020In Somalia, an estimated 1.4 million people could be displaced due to the current drought and 7.7 million, half the population, is in need of humanitarian assistance. Scarcely any rain has fallen in several regions in the Horn of Africa since late 2020.

Germany is providing the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with 20 million euro to ensure that people in areas of particular risk from hunger can receive swift assistance. These funds are to be used, among other things, to provide more than 50,000 people in Somalia with feed for their livestock. In Ethiopia, 26 dried up watering holes are to be restored. In Kenya, 15,000 families are to receive humanitarian cash transfers. In parts of the three countries, precipitation has decreased by up to 70 percent. Some regions have even suffered
their lowest rainfall of all time.

Nomadic herders and stockbreeders are facing increasing difficulties. Countless families have lost their sole source of income. As the lack of rain also causes pastureland to dry up, nomadic herders and their animals are increasingly turning to arable land. Agriculturally-viable land is decreasing. Wells and irrigation systems are drying up. New conflicts are arising as a result of the competition for the shrinking number of fields, grazing land and watering holes. The consequences of armed conflicts in Ethiopia and Somalia as well as a locust plague
in 2020 have aggravated the situation further.

“This funding demonstrates the German Government’s fundamental approach to humanitarian assistance. Its aim is to provide help as fast and as anticipatory as possible in order to avoid or minimize damage. The German Government has expanded its humanitarian assistance in Africa in the last few years. In 2021, it made available a total of 564 million Euro for assistance on the African continent,” a statement from the German embassy in Addis Abeba said. AS/Dispatch

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