In response to the devastating drought in the Horn of Africa, the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing nearly $114 million in additional humanitarian aid to meet the needs of people in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, affected by the unprecedented drought. The region has faced two straight years of inadequate rainfall to support basic water, agriculture and livestock needs, the impact of which is devastating for a population heavily dependent on crops and livestock for food and livelihoods. In total, more than 20 million people across the region are projected to need emergency food assistance this year, a 70 percent increase from the devastating drought in 2016-2017.
In Ethiopia, this support will provide lifesaving food assistance and improved access to safe water, as well as medical supplies, support for mobile health units, and training for community health workers. In Kenya, this additional assistance for drought-affected people in the north and east will provide families with food and specialized nutrition assistance for malnourished children and mothers. It will also provide water, sanitation, and hygiene support, including provision and protection of safe water sources for people and livestock, as well as livelihood assistance including support to keep livestock alive and healthy. In Somalia, this support will provide life-saving emergency food assistance to over two million people a month. It will also be used to provide preventative and curative nutrition assistance for children under six years old.
While this historic drought is already leaving people facing severe food insecurity and destroying livelihoods, Russia’s war on Ukraine only threatens to further compound the drastic needs, as food prices rise and the region can no longer import critical wheat from Russia and Ukraine. The United States is the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, providing nearly $161 million across the Horn of Africa since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2022. We call on other donors to join us in scaling up their assistance to respond to humanitarian needs triggered by the worsening drought.