By David Musyoka NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The African Development Bank (AfDB) said Friday
it had approved a 1-million-U.S.-dollar emergency humanitarian
assistance targeting those affected by drought in Kenya.
The bank said the
emergency relief grant will support Kenya and UN’s efforts in
providing urgent food aid distributions and deliveries of water
beneficiaries of the food distribution would include households
affected by the drought mainly widows, orphans, female and
elderly-headed households without visible means of survival,” it
said in a statement.
Kenya in February
declared a national disaster following extreme dry spells hit
the country’s pastoral zones since August 2016.
The drought has
resulted in high local cereal prices, increasing livestock
mortality and more conflicts over land.
Food prices are
currently 10-25 percent above their five-year averages and are
expected to continue rising.
government said the number of people in need of humanitarian
assistance had doubled to 3.5 million in June.
Drought Management Authority (NDMA) said that the drought has
worsened in most Kenyan counties, now affecting nearly half the
26.5 million people need food
aid in East Africa amid drought: UN agency
Omar NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The UN humanitarian agency
said Friday at least 26.5 million people in East Africa are in
need of food assistance due to severe drought that is ravaging
The UN Office for Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its latest report the number
of refugees who have sought protection in the Horn of Africa
region has increased by 640,000 people to 4.4 million over the
past six months.
OCHA said in its regional outlook for
the Horn of Africa and Great Lakes region that an additional
three million people were internally displaced during the past
“This is driven by successive episodes
of drought and failed harvests, conflict, insecurity and
economic shocks affecting the most vulnerable. Humanitarian
needs are expected to increase in the months ahead,” said
The East Africa region has been facing
one of the biggest humanitarian crises in its history. Recent
rainfall has been insufficient to compensate for the delayed
start of the rainy season, which brought below average levels of
precipitation in March and April.
The current drought in the Horn is
largely comparable to that of October to November 2010 that
peaked in 2011 with grave humanitarian needs.
Extensive growing season failures and
record low vegetation are observed across Somalia, southeastern
Ethiopia and coastal Kenya.
According to the UN, northern and
western Kenya, southwestern Ethiopia and eastern Uganda are also
affected, although with more moderate consequences. Extensive
livestock deaths have been reported.
April field reports from Somalia
indicate that, due to distress selling and livestock deaths,
households in northern and central areas have lost 40 to 60 per
cent of their livestock and households in southern regions 20 to
40 percent of their herds, since the Deyr 2016/17 assessment.
The number of people in Integrated
Phase Classification Crisis (IPC) phase 3, 4 and 5 has increased
significantly to 26.5 million, a 62 percent increase compared to
a year ago (16.4 million in May 2016).
In South Sudan, a famine affecting
90,000 people in Unity State was declared in February.
Conditions in South Sudan continue to deteriorate with 5.5
million people expected to be severely food insecure in July,
the peak of the lean season.
The report said the situation in
Somalia has deteriorated and is of particular concern with 3.2
million people facing Crisis and Emergency levels of food
insecurity (up from 2.9 million) and severe drought, rising
prices, continued access limitations, and depressed rain
forecasts suggest an elevated risk of famine in Somalia in 2017.
The food insecure population in
Ethiopia has increased from 5.6 to 7.8 million following a poor
start to the rainy season, the UN agency said.
“This number is expected to increase
further for the second half of the year. In Burundi, 2.6
million people are food insecure, including 700,000 in IPC
Emergency Phase 4 and in Kenya 2.6 million are acutely food
insecure,” it said.
The agency warns that food insecurity
is set to worsen due to continued conflict, a possible El-Nino
and the Fall Armyworm infestation.
According to the World Meteorological
Organization (WMO), the probability of El-Nino occurring in the
autumn is at 50 to 60 percent and is expected to affect
Ethiopia, northern Kenya, Somalia, western Uganda, Rwanda,
Burundi and southwestern South Sudan.
“The Fall Armyworm has appeared in
western Kenya, southwestern Ethiopia, Burundi, Rwanda and
central and western Uganda. In Uganda, it affects 54
districts, attacking up to 40 percent of maize farms in some
areas,” the UN said.
According to OCHA, acute malnutrition,
especially among refugees and children under five, pregnant and
breastfeeding mothers remains a major concern in many parts of
South Sudan, Sudan (Darfur, Kordofan region, and Eastern Sudan),
northern Kenya and Uganda’s Karamoja region.
Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates
in South Sudan are above the 15 percent emergency threshold in
seven of the ten states, reaching 33 percent in northern Bahr
Meanwhile, the report said 640,000
people have sought protection since the start of 2017, making a
total of 4.4 million refugees and asylum seekers in the Great
Lakes and Horn of Africa region.
The majority of the newly displaced
are from South Sudan and Burundi, with South Sudan being the
fastest growing refugee crisis globally.
Almost 2 million people are internally
displaced in South Sudan, and more than 1.9 million South
Sudanese have fled the country as refugees and asylum seekers
since December 2013.
“This has led to a revision of the
South Sudan Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRRP).
Humanitarian partners anticipate 2.13 million South Sudanese
refugees by the end of 2017,” said the UN agency.
The report said nearly 65,000
Burundians have sought refuge since the start of the year
bringing the total number of new refugees to 408,857.