Minister for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Mr. Colm Brophy, T.D., announced an additional €3.2 million in funding to respond to growing needs in the Horn of Africa.
Across the Horn of Africa over 20 million people are facing rising malnutrition as a result of prolonged drought.
This announcement comes as Minister Brophy concludes a week-long visit to northern Kenya and South Sudan, where he saw the devastation caused by the drought first-hand. The Minister’s visit to South Sudan was the first visit of an Irish Government Minister to that country since it gained independence in 2011.
The €3.2m in additional funding will primarily be directed towards humanitarian projects responding to the drought. It comes on top of €74m already allocated to the humanitarian response in the Horn of Africa over the last 18 months.
“This drought is unprecedented and has left millions of people without any means to provide for themselves. I visited health clinics and saw severely malnourished children. Listening to their mothers was heart-breaking. Malnutrition rates in these clinics have doubled since February and are going to worsen as the drought continues. Without urgent international help, the people of the Horn of Africa are facing a humanitarian catastrophe the scale of which has not been seen for decades. Ireland has already allocated €74m in direct humanitarian funding to the region over the last 18 months. This additional funding is a further sign of Ireland’s commitment to tackling urgent need in the region,” said Minister Brophy.
Of this €3.2 million funding package, €1.5 million will be provided to seven Irish NGO partners – Trócaire, Concern, GOAL, Oxfam Ireland, Christian Aid Ireland, Plan International Ireland, and World Vision – to meet the needs of those worst affected by food insecurity in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. A further €500,000 will be provided to UNICEF to provide therapeutic food to severely malnourished children under the age of five in Kenya.
The funding will deliver €1m to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to improve agricultural food production in Somalia. A further €200,000 will support agricultural projects in Kenya through the Africa Agri Development Programme.