ActionAid has launched a £1.5 million appeal to urgently step up its work in drought-affected East Africa.The severe drought across Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda and Djibouti has left an estimated 10m people on the brink of starvation with some areas experiencing the driest conditions in 60 years.
ActionAid has been responding to the crisis for several months and has already helped more than 194,000 people with emergency food supplies, water and income generating schemes.
The extra £1.5 million will enable ActionAid in Kenya to help thousands more people by providing communities with desperately-needed food and water. It will also support farmers in the area to ensure people can recover from this disaster in the long term.
Bijay Kumar, ActionAid’s Head of Emergencies who is in Kenya, said: “We are on the brink of a catastrophe for millions of people unless we urgently get funds to step up our work. We know that some families are eating only one meagre meal a day and children are dropping out of school to help their families search for water.
”As is often the case with slow onset disasters such as drought, ActionAid believes the international community has been slow to provide sufficient funding for a humanitarian response.
The UK’s announcement of £38 million for Ethiopia is welcome, but ActionAid is calling on other donors - both European and international – to come forward with similar funding pledges for the entire East Africa region in order to prevent this crisis becoming even worse.
For further information or to arrange interviews in the UK or in Kenya contact Anjali Kwatra on 0203 122 0633 or 07941 371357
photo : ©Danielle Peck/ActionAid