Aid workers on frontline of drought in East Africa respond to FCDO funding announcement

19 August 2022

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The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in the UK has today announced £36 million in UK humanitarian funding to help people in Ukraine, East Africa and Syria. Countries in East Africa (Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia) are currently experiencing the worst drought on record, with more than 20 million people facing severe hunger and water shortages in this region alone. 

Tinebeb Berhane, Country Director for ActionAid Ethiopia, says: 

“While we welcome a formal acknowledgement of the seriousness of the situation in East Africa, this must be accompanied by urgent humanitarian actions. For months, people have been dying while the rest of the world watches from the sidelines.

“Mothers here are sacrificing their own health to feed their children, and girls are dropping out of school in droves to walk unprecedented distances to find water, food, and access to medical services as water sources deplete and prices skyrocket, putting them at risk of violence. 

“We have spoken to mothers who told us their farms have dried up, they have been priced out of staple food, their families have gone from eating three meals a day to one, and their children are emaciated. 

“The food and malnutrition crisis in parts of Africa is nothing short of catastrophic. The UK government and all other donors must do more than has been announced today, to ensure it’s not too little too late.”  

ActionAid’s emergency teams are working with local partner organisations, women leaders and young people to provide lifesaving food relief, water, and livelihoods support. The support ActionAid and its partners have provided includes cash transfers, rehabilitating water sources, providing food to the most vulnerable families, school feeding programmes, and safe spaces with psychosocial counselling support. 


ActionAid has aid workers working on the frontline of this crisis in Kenya and Somaliland available for interviews. 

For further information please contact the media team on email:; or if out of hours, on +44 (0) 7753 973 486. 

Notes to editors  

ActionAid works with women and girls living in poverty. Our dedicated local staff are changing the world with women and girls. We are ending violence and fighting poverty so that all women, everywhere, can create the future they want. Find out more about ActionAid.