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Wednesday, 04 November 2009

Emergency funding to prevent a humanitarian disaster in the Horn of Africa

Experts say the Horn of Africa already faces a chronic food shortage which, without an adequate international response, could lead to a humanitarian crisis. The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) is today responding to this crisis by announcing £39 million more in humanitarian assistance for the Horn of Africa. £30 million will go to Ethiopia where which faces a very real threat of food shortages.  Around 14 million people – around one in six – struggle to feed themselves. The funding is additional to £24 million emergency support already provided to Ethiopia in 2009. An extra £9 million is being provided to help people in Kenya and Somalia.  In Kenya, £5 million will go to UNICEF and other organisations to help those who need it most, especially acutely malnourished children.  In Somalia, £4 million will also go towards helping the most vulnerable. A number of factors have combined over the past two years to leave Ethiopia short of food. These include unpredictable global food price inflation and the repeated failure of rains which are essential for agricultural production. If the forthcoming harvest fails, it will lead to a worsening humanitarian situation into 2010.

Source: DFID