NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The European Commission said Wednesday it’s
mobilizing a further 5.6 billion shillings (56 million U.S.
dollars) in emergency humanitarian funding to help the people
hit by drought in the East Africa nations.
The EU said
funding from the aid package will support drought-affected
communities in Somalia (28 million dollars), Ethiopia (22.46
million dollars), Kenya (3.37 million dollars) and Uganda (2.24
Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and
Crisis Management said in a statement issued in Nairobi that the
EU is stepping up its support for the people affected by a
prolonged drought in the Horn of Africa.
"During my several visits to countries in the region, I have
seen first hand how much climate extremes are affecting this
part of Africa.
"Our funding will help extend humanitarian assistance in the
affected areas, helping communities ward off the risk of
famine," said Stylianides.
According to the EU, the prolonged drought is having
devastating consequences on food availability and livelihoods
with many in the region relying on livestock herding and
The EU said the funds will go towards emergency food
assistance and assistance to address immediate food needs; the
provision of basic health services and the treatment of severe
acute malnutrition in children under five years of age, and in
pregnant and breastfeeding mothers; improving water access for
both human and livestock consumption; and protecting households’
Stylianides said the EU aid will contribute to assisting
humanitarian agencies in the region to pre-emptively scale up
their actions in the hardest hit areas.
"A spell of drought, following two poor rain seasons in a
row, has put almost 13 million people in need of emergency food
assistance across the region," said the EU.
It said more than four million children are estimated to be
acutely malnourished, in addition to around three million
malnourished pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Ethiopian Ministry warns
over potential locust impacts on agriculture
ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) --
The Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture on
Sunday warned over the potential impact of Desert Locust summer
breeding on the country’s agricultural production.
"There is a need to exert more efforts to combat the existing
high probability of Desert Locust summer breeding, which spreads
to parts of Ethiopia from its neighboring countries," the
state-run news agency quoted officials from the Ethiopian
Ministry of Agriculture as saying on Sunday.
According to Alemayehu Birhanu, Public Relations Director at
the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture, the Desert Locust, which
migrated from Somalia and Yemen, has been spotted across
different parts of the East African country, mainly in parts of
Ethiopia’s six major regional states.
The ministry, which recently received Desert Locust summer
breeding caution from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO),
has been collecting data from the ground on the status of Desert
Locust in parts of the country, it was noted.
Birhanu, however, stressed that the Desert Locust that
migrated from neighboring countries and spotted across different
parts of Ethiopia "doesn’t pose a serious threat to Ethiopia’s
"Given the current heavy rains in areas where the Desert
Locust spotted, there is a great need to implement measures to
tackle the possible impact of on agricultural production," he
Last week, FAO had warned over the danger of Desert Locust
summer breeding that "can pose a serious threat to agricultural
production areas of Yemen, Sudan, Eritrea and parts of Ethiopia
and northern Somalia during the next three months."
"This could result in potentially adverse impacts on the
agricultural seasonal yields and local economies affecting food
security and livelihoods of the populations in the countries
concerned," FAO said in a statement.
It also stressed that "urgent Desert Locust control
operations are required to safeguard crops and mitigate the risk
of infestation in Yemen, as well as to prevent locust swarms
from invading the neighboring countries."
Development Community member states face food deficit
DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) --
A senior official with the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) secretariat said
on Sunday most of the 16 member states of the regional bloc were
facing food deficit.
Domingos Gove, SADC Secretariat director for Food,
Agriculture and Natural Resources, said the situation in terms
of agriculture production in the region is bad.
"We have food deficit in member states of SADC with the
exception of South Africa and Zambia which have comparative
stocks," he told a news conference in the commercial capital Dar
es Salaam ahead of the 39th Ordinary SADC Summit of the Heads of
State and Government planned for Aug. 17 and Aug. 18.
The official said rainfall situation has been bad in the
entire region coupled with disasters such as cyclones that
recently hit Mozambique, Malawi, Madagascar and Comoros, leaving
behind unthinkable devastation.
Gove said the SADC environment vulnerability assessment
committee was monitoring the situation in SADC individual member
"We are working with national environment vulnerability
"It is a continuous process," said Gove in an answer to
Xinhua that had inquired about the food situation in the region.
National environment vulnerability assessment committees were
addressing the impacts of climate change, he added.
SADC is an organization of 16 member states established in
1980 as the Southern African Development Coordinating Conference
and later in August, 1992 transformed into the Southern African
Development Community (SADC).
The mission of SADC is to promote sustainable and equitable
economic growth and socio-economic development through
efficient, productive systems, deeper cooperation and
integration, good governance and durable peace and security so
that the region emerges as a competitive and effective player in
international relations and the world economy.