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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
UN food agency seeks US 450 million
U.S. dollars for Horn of Africa drought

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The UN food agency on Tuesday announced that it is seeking to raise about 450 million U.S. dollars for emergency humanitarian assistance to three drought-hit countries in the Horn of Africa.

World Food Program (WFP) Regional Director Valerie Guarnieri told Xinhua in Nairobi that Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia have about 10 million people in need of urgent food assistance.

“We are seeking to raise the funds on a country-by-country basis by supporting the individual UN country offices to make the food appeal,” Guarnieri said during an Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) briefing on the current drought situation.

Somalia is the country with the biggest need for humanitarian assistance. “For Somalia we need 350 million dollars in order to scale up emergency relief response to reach 2.9 million people,” Guarnieri added.

The financial assistance will also be used to provide blanket supplementary feeding to support those severely affected by drought. In Kenya, the UN food agency has a 22 million dollar revenue shortfall.

“We are looking to source the funds in order to provide drought affected individuals to restore their livelihoods as well as supplement their nutrition,” she said.

The Kenyan government has already allocated 90 million dollars for a multi-sectoral drought response. According to the WFP, approximately five million people are in urgent need of food aid in Ethiopia.

“Out of that 1.5 million are in the Somali region of Ethiopia, where the WFP already plays a lead role in providing humanitarian assistance,” Guarnieri said.

South Sudan is also impacted by the drought but it has a bigger issue of the ongoing civil strife.

             

 

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