ADDIS ABABA, The United States has announced that it is giving humanitarian assistance totalling more than 169 million US dollars to support those experiencing the effects of a prolonged severe drought in Ethiopia and Kenya.
This additional funding, including nearly 137 million USD for Ethiopia and nearly 33 million USD for Kenya, brings the total amount of humanitarian contributions by Washington to Ethiopia and Kenya to more than 458 million USD in Fiscal Year 2017, according to a media statement from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) received here Thursday.
With the new funding, the US is scaling up its emergency food assistance, while providing specialized nutrition supplies to treat malnourished children, and also furnishing safe drinking water and essential health services, the statement added.
An estimated 7.8 million people throughout Ethiopia require urgent humanitarian assistance and the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS-NET) has warned that without immediate and sustained assistance, food insecurity could reach catastrophic levels for some families in the worst-affected areas.
In addition to helping Ethiopians and Kenyans affected by the drought, the US government is also providing support for refugees in Kenya who have fled drought and conflict in their own countries.
Besides severe hunger, acute watery diarrhoea is spreading in drought-affected regions, which presents a deadly triple threat of hunger, malnutrition, and dehydration, in addition to the displacement of affected populations, the statement said.
Humanitarian needs are also growing in Kenya, where an estimated 2.6 million people are acutely food-insecure, and malnutrition is on the rise as drought conditions persist.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK